…Says Nigeria should forget IMF loans
From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche, has asked the federal government to partner with China in order to bring Nigerians out of poverty.
Nwuche spoke in Abuja during an international seminar on ‘Nigeria-China Relations and the Prospects to Realise Industrial and Production Capacity Cooperation, and said Nigeria’s challenge is infrastructure and accessing funds at reasonable rates for development in areas such as railways, roads, power, dams et cetera.
Nwuche said it was more realistic to engage the infrastructure bank of China in terms of loan, rather than engaging the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He added that western financial institutions had not been very willing, but had been putting too many conditions when it had to do with loans.
Nwuche said China has shown that she is a friend of Africa and able to relax the conditions to enable Africa grow.
“The important thing is not money in doing business all the time. It is about people; the welfare of citizens to grow their economy and to bring them out of poverty.
“So, I think that China’s model of development and making resources available to developing countries is commendable and Nigeria should partner with China to grow her economy and bring her people out of poverty,” Nwuche said.
Nwuche further urged the federal government to key into China’s infrastructure bank which had a combination of the total wherewithal or more than what the IMF had in order to develop the country.
“The FG should key into the China Infrastructure Bank which has combined total or more than what the IMF has and partner with them and meet Chinese conditions to see that we attract loans for long-term investments at single digit interest rates.
“Not loans at 20 percent, but at five percent, four percent concessional rates to grow our economy and they should invest the money in projects that are viable and they should put them under people who are transparent to manage them,” Nwuche added.
On his part, a former Vice Minister of Foreign Policy of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Ji Peiding, said the 21st century economy belonged to China and Africa.
Ji added that Africa is a great continent with great hope, noting that the African continent enjoyed abundant natural resources.
“As you all know, the world has changed since the beginning of this century. The world economy is facing a new round of structural adjustment and in that sphere, reallocation.
“Africa, you are trying your best to seize this great historic opportunities to develop your continent, to upgrade the economies of respective countries of Africa.
“It is my belief that this century, 21st century, belongs to us, newly emerging economies, developing countries, China and Africa,” Ji said.
China-Africa relations, Ji added, were based on political equality and mutual trust, a win-win economic cooperation.
Ji said on a personal note, he felt very proud when in the year 2000, he chaired the preparatory committee on the China-Africa Forum.
In his remarks, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, said the seminar could not have come at a more opportune time.
“The 2017 Africa Industrialization Day on November 20 is fast approaching. Nigeria has moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report published the day before yesterday.
“The World Bank also lists Nigeria as one of the top ten reforming economies in the world in 2017. And, as the significance of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its global implications are being assessed in earnest world-wide, a discussion on the impact of the Congress on China’s commitment to the industrialization of Africa is apt and helpful,” Zhou said.