Nigeria: Country to Overtake South Africa As China’s Trading Partner?

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Nigeria and China: Trade Partnership

Nigeria and China: Trade Partnership

Nduka Nwosu 14 September 2011

Nigeria will soon overtake South Africa as China’s biggest trading partner, Nigeria’s ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, Alhaji Aminu Bashir Wali, told THISDAY in Beijing.

But this may have to be delayed until the Ministry of Justice halts the influx of China’s inferior goods into the country, while China waits for basic infrastructure development in power, transportation and water to make manufacturing attractive.

 

Wali, who said current imports from China stood at $8 billion against Nigeria’s less than one billion dollars, making Nigeria second biggest trading partner to China in Africa, added that China was anxious to increase its imports from Nigeria by exploring its solid minerals and agricultural programmes as well as asking for concessions and reduced tariffs.

Chinese companies such as China Southern, he stressed, had expressed deep interest in the on-going power project restructuring, in particular in the areas of generation, distribution and marketing with emphasis in the thermal, hydro and coal sectors.

 

Responding to the influx of China’s inferior goods into the Nigerian market, Wali said this was another sad development facilitated by Nigerian businessmen, who came to China to make specifications for such inferior but profitable goods in the Nigerian market than the high quality Chinese products, that were in great demand in Europe, Asia and America.

“The Nigerian Standard Organisation and its Chinese counterpart are yet to conclude agreements on inspection of Chinese goods imported into the country. An agreement will take care of this and once signed, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and inspection agents on both sides will insist on quality to preserve the image of the country. We are waiting for the Ministry of Justice in Nigeria to conclude its part of the deal before this becomes operatives,” Wali told THISDAY.

In the area of transportation, Wali said: “We are already tapping from the Chinese experience with the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna rail link, which is being constructed by a Chinese company with a soft loan of $500million. There is also the Lagos-Ibadan rail line”.

Ambassador Wali said Nigeria had so much to learn from China, which had been able to lift 300 million Chinese out of the poverty range in the last 30 years by first providing basic necessities such as power and water in rural areas while laying emphasis on community centred development projects with continuity at the central and provincial levels of governance.

Continuity in developmental projects, Wali observed, was holding Nigeria back and “we must learn from China which has had the CPC in power for 60 years running,” with the need for emphasis on democratic institutions and continuity of programmes in Nigeria’s case.

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