China is about to grant a loan of billions of dollars to the Nigerian Government to help it finance some infrastructure projects. This is coming at a time when the price of crude oil – which the Nigerian government has depended on to finance its budget for decades – is suffering a terrible crash that has ground Nigeria’s economy to a halt.
This information was relayed to Reuters by Nigerian President Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina. For coming to our help at a time when we had no one ready to help us, I declare China a Good Friend Of Nigeria.
People may say that I am exaggerating because the funding is a loan which is meant to be paid back. In other words, it is business. But China has been known to give developing countries loans with very favourable conditions. For instance, they don’t believe in collecting interest for country to country loans.
So, we are not returning to the situation we had in the past where the interest of a loan given to us became many times bigger than the actual loan itself.
If President Buhari can get us more lifelines like this (doesn’t always have to be a loan of course, then he is assured of many, many votes in 2019.
Buhari should also shine his eyes now to make sure that corrupt officials don’t divert the loan proceeds. Unlike before, when oil money could cushion such corruption, this time around money is thin, and any large scale corruption will easily be felt by the Nigerian people. And the only person they know to ask questions if such should happen is Buhari.
And please , Mr President Buhari, let the Second Niger Bridge be among the projects that will be financed. The existing bridge is very weak and can fall anytime from now. So please, Sir, as soon as the Chinese wire us the money, give Fashola (Minister of Works) some for that bridge. Very important.