The Chinese accumulated investment in Nigeria is expected to exceed US$10 billion by the end of December 2012 just as the trade volume between the two countries is currently more than US$8 billion as at October 2012.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Deng Boqing, who disclosed this development in an interview with the Economic Confidential, said the economic intelligent magazine added that the two economies are highly complementary, and the cooperative relations have huge potential and broad prospect.
He further disclosed that “China’s wide range investment covers sectors such as petroleum, free trade zone, iron and steel, agriculture, manufacturing, pharmacy and mining. The economic assistance to Nigeria provided by China played an important role in bilateral cooperation, and some projects in the areas of health, education, human resource training and infrastructural development.”
Rather than crude oil as major exportable product from Nigeria to China, agricultural products are major earners in the Asian country. Amb. Boqing said: Nigeria is one of the top crude oil producers and exporters in the world. This also shapes Nigeria’s export to China.
However, compared with Nigeria’s other trading partners, the amount of crude exported to China is relatively lower, which only constitutes one to two percent of Nigeria’s total crude export. “The two countries managed to diversify the trade relations. Last August, Nigeria farmers exported 1.1million metric ton of Cassava chips to China. We shall continue to encourage more import of non-oil items from Nigeria, especially agriculture products.”
The Chinese Ambassador described the Nigeria’s economy as promising while highlighting Nigeria’s potentials for greatness as most populace country in Africa. He said: “Nigeria’s economy has been performing well in the past 11 months. The GDP grows at a rate of over six percent; the crude production stays at around 2.4million barrel per day and your foreign reserve increased to $45 billion.
“All of these achievements impressed me a lot. These are more than figures. Nigeria is a leading nation in Africa and has been playing a significant role in resolving Mali and Guinea-Bissau crisis. Nigeria is a country with many natural endowments and abundant human resources, which give your economy the potential to thrive.”
The Economic Confidential also learnt that Abuja rail project would soon be completed by Chinese companies handling it. The ambassador said: “Abuja light rail, funded with the concession loan of USD 500 million from China Exim Bank, is a major project which will bring convenience to dwellers in Abuja once completed. I am confident that, with the joint efforts of both sides, the project will be completed within the stipulated time period.”
Besides infrastructure construction in Nigeria, the Chinese government emphasises more on the training of locals. As the Chinese proverb goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That was why I personally attended the opening ceremony when recently CCECC established the Training Centre at Idu.”