On Wednesday last week, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a concessional loan agreement of $382m with Chinese President, Xi Jinping, for Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase II (NICTIB II) project.
President Buhari also requested for China’s financial and technological support to build the 3050 Megawatts Mambilla hydroelectric power project in Taraba state, among other things.
PAUL OKAH speaks to Nigerians on the development.
Buhari deserves appreciation When I read about the loan deal last week, I was greatly impressed because the economy of Nigeria really needs a shot in the arm.
People may not know the benefits that the Mambilla hydroelectric power project will bring to Nigeria when completed, but our electricity will become more stable than it is at the moment.
The complaints of Nigerians are many, especially when it comes to power supply, and I think Buhari is doing the right thing by going to China for help.
Besides, every political leader ought to make it a priority to listen and act on the agitations for his people; in order to ensure good governance.
When a president cannot provide facilities for his country, then I wonder what he feels his duties ought to be.
Left for me, I don’t see the reason why Buhari should not be praised and appreciated for taking the giant step by going to China for help in resuscitating our economy.
With constant electricity, the economy will boom and the nation will move forward.
In fact, I regard this recent loan deal by the President Buhari as one of the best achievements that the APC-led federal government has been able to achieve since taking over power from the ineptitude PDP.
Therefore, Buhari deserves some accolades, as it were.
The PDP could not do it, so we should be grateful for this giant stride.
Abdulsalam Mujeeb, technician.
Not impressed For time immemorial, political leaders in Africa, especially Nigeria, always find one reason or the other to make the citizens to lose faith in them.
Nigeria is always in the news for the wrong reasons.
While many countries are celebrating technological advancement, Nigeria is celebrating a successful loan agreement with China.
If that does not make us look foolish before the international community, then I wonder what else should.
I am not in any way impressed by the hullabaloo of loan agreement with China because Nigeria is fast losing its hold as the giant of Africa.
South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are taking over the economic space and we are daily losing it in the country.
With the negative news emerging from the country every day, I have no reason to think that there is a future for many Nigerians in this government.
I am sad, really, and every right thinking Nigerian should be.
We are simply not getting it right and if Buhari continues in power in 2019, I don’t think the country will progress in any way.
Agada Jeremiah, trader.
Every government borrows It is a well known fact that, all over the world, governments borrow to supplement their national budgets and provide necessary infrastructure for the development of their country.
It is not a new thing, so Nigerians should not show ignorance before the world by claiming that the partnership agreement between China and Nigeria portends Elisabeth Ifeanyi Jeremiah Jane economic dangers.
From every indication, Nigeria is going to benefit from the ICT backbone project because we need to develop alongside other established nations of the world.
Even the great United States of America, a country that is regarded as omnipotent and a world super power, goes to borrow from other countries when they feel like it and our own should not be different.
I think what we should really be interested in is how to make sure that any borrowed money is used for the project it is meant for.
The difference between African countries and Western countries is basically because of infrastructure.
Why advanced countries borrow money to develop their countries the more, many African leaders borrow to use for personal gains.
Nevertheless, I won’t be wrong to say that President Buhari is incorruptible and will expectedly make use of the partnership deals with China to restore Nigeria’s pride as the giant of Africa.
However, to doubt the rightness of the loan deal is missing the point, because governments around the world do the same.
Precious Udoh, teacher.
Citizens to benefit When it comes to borrowing money from another country to develop a particular country, I would say that it is the right thing for the benefiting country because it is the citizens that will benefit from it the more.
For instance, if China and Nigeria partners in the Mambilla project, Nigerians will start enjoying steady power supply at its completion.
Don’t forget that the project is going to be sited in the country that borrowed the money in the first place and the citizens will have nothing to lose.
For instance, if China helps Nigeria in the Mambilla power project in Taraba state, the facility will forever be there even if the federal government defaults, which I doubt, especially with the type of upright president we have.
Even in the event of future governments defaulting, especially as the corrupt PDP politicians are agitating to take over power from the APC, the power project may be privatised.
To recover their money, any project built on loan by the Chinese may be operated by them for some years, but they can never take the projects away, so the citizens are still the ones benefiting.
In fact, I even suggest that the Chinese should be allowed to totally take over the management of power supply in Nigeria for effectiveness.
If the 16 billion dollars the PDP claimed to have spent on the power project was used by the Chinese in maintaining our electricity themselves, we won’t be where we are now.
Ifeanyi Moses, businessman.
Another neocolonialism China is gradually taking over many African countries and I fear that many people may not have a say in their own countries if the situation is not checked.
Colonialism is not all about the white ruling the black as many African countries witnessed in the past.
It can also come in the form of economic slavery and neocolonialism.
That is what China is doing by lending money to African countries and then control African governments through the money.
It is a well known fact that African leaders loot money belonging to their countries in the name of borrowing.
Almost all the past leaders have borrowed and plunged the country into debt.
Instead of governments becoming independent, they stay grateful to countries like China and lose their sovereignty.
You can never have a say when it comes to dialoguing with your benefactor and I am concerned that Nigeria is now in such a situation.
We have borrowed money in the past without paying and I doubt if we can pay the recent and future loans by the Chinese.
Therefore, we will be economically dependent on them for survival, which is bad.
Neocolonialism is the worst form of government any country can consider and I hope we retrace our steps on time.
If not, we are building a bleak future for the unborn generation.
Aliyu Jane, civil servant.
Use recovered loots instead I commend President Buhari for his interest in developing the country, but I am not comfortable with the borrowing spree embarked upon by the federal government.
According to a report from the Debt Management Office, Nigeria has borrowed over $500 million dollars, and every right thinking Nigerian has a cause to worry over the borrowing.
The question on everyone’s lips is about what happened to the money purportedly recovered from the looters of the national treasury? I read in the media the other day that the federal government recently shared the $300m loot recovered from late General Abacha loot to some Nigerians.
Yet, the federal government has signed $382m loan with China to develop our infrastructure, why didn’t they use the recovered loot from Abacha and other corrupt leaders? Are they insulting our intelligence? I have reasons to ask, like many Nigerians, because it makes no sense to me.
How can you purportedly give away US$300million to Nigerians, then turn around to borrow US$382 million from China.
This even raises eyebrows among discernible Nigerians like me, because not many people have have out to say that they received the money.
In a nutshell, every recovered loot should be spent on economic, man power and infrastructure development.
We can’t have money in the country and then go cap in hand to beg.
We lose our prestige daily before the international community and should address the issue as quickly as possible.
Elizabeth Nwosu, Office assistant