President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has said his administration will stand by the decision to pursue Chinese loans.
In an interview with a local Television station on Wednesday, the Nigerian Head of State maintained that anyone willing to help Nigeria’s realize its ambitious development goals is free to do so.
“The Chinese are welcome, anybody that is prepared to come and help us and our infrastructure to do the roads, the rail and power will be welcomed.” noted Buhari
He reiterated that whenever there was a need to secure more foreign loans, his administration would do so.
President Buhari said this even as he allayed fears in some quarters to the effect that Africa’s most populous nation might be plunged into a debt trap. He dismissed widespread allegations that China, the world’s second largest economic power, was pushing poor countries into taking up unsustainable debts in form of loans.
“We take that (loans) where it is necessary. I told you now of something, what it is used to be between Lagos and Ibadan alone not to talk of the rest of the country,” he said.
“But we got the Chinese to help us in the rail and the roads, how can we turn that down? If we had turned that down, maybe between Lagos to Ibadan, you will have to walk.
According to data from the Debt Management Office, Nigeria has borrowed $2.02 billion as loans from China from 2015 and the country’s debt portfolio from China has risen to $3.40bn as of March 31, 2021.
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