The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, at the weekend, in Beijing, made a strong case why the Chinese government should assist Nigeria financially in funding critical major infrastructure projects in the country.
According to a statement released by Akpandem James, Media Adviser to the Hon. Minister, said Senator Udoma who was in China for the Coordinator’s meeting on the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) also used the opportunity to discuss issues of vital economic interest with that country’s Vice Minister for Commerce, Mr. Qian Keming; and officials of China EXIM bank, where he stressed the mutually beneficial relationship the two countries will eventually enjoy if Nigeria’s economy is assisted to grow rapidly.
Recall that at the Johannesburg Summit in South Africa in December 2015, China had agreed to Assist African countries in ten strategic areas that will help their economy. It pledged $60 billion in aid, grants and concessional loans.
“Nigeria is trying to get as much of the Chinese funding for projects in the form of grants, aids, investments and loans. The loan component will however be within the country’s debt sustainability limits. Projects proposed for the facility by Nigeria is in the region of about $20 billion, and the Minister said Nigeria will be in a better stead if the Chinese government will assist with a substantial part of the funds required”.
“During the various meetings, Senator Udoma stressed the need for special consideration for Nigeria given its strategic relationship with China, its economic potentials, and its capacity to redeem its part of the transaction obligations”, he said.