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Nigeria's Buhari defends China, dismisses talk of 'debt trap'

Nigeria's Buhari defends China, dismisses talk of 'debt trap'


Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has stressed that the country’s relations with China falls within relevant economic plans of the government and that Nigeria was not being trapped by Chinese money.

Buhari who led Nigeria’s delegation to the 2018 Forum for Africa – China Cooperation, FOCAC; said that the partnership had led to the successful execution of infrastructure projects over the past three years.

“Let me use this opportunity to address and dispel insinuations about a so-called Chinese ‘debt trap’. These vital infrastructure projects being funded are perfectly in line with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan. Some of the debts, it must be noted, are self-liquidating.

“Nigeria is fully able to repay all the loans as and when due, in keeping with our policy of fiscal prudence and sound housekeeping,” he added.

These are some of the records that Buhari made reference to:

  • Nigeria-China partnership led to execution of projects valued at over $5 billion between 2015 – 2018.
  • Some projects include: completion and flagging off West Africa’s first urban rail system, valued at $500 million, in Abuja.
  • A 180km rail line that connects Abuja and Kaduna, completed and commissioned in 2016.
  • Nigeria is currently leveraging Chinese funding to execute $3.4 billion worth of projects at various stages of completion.
  • Amongst others: upgrading of airport terminals, the Lagos – Kano rail line, Zungeru hydroelectric power project, and fibre cables for our internet infrastructure, and others.
  • This year, Nigeria signed an agreement for an additional $1billion loan from China.
  • The money is aimed for additional rolling stock for the newly constructed rail lines, as well as road rehabilitation and water supply projects.

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