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$3.121b loans: China won’t take over Nigeria, says Embassy - THE NATON

AUGUST 07, 2020

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Abuja

The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria on Thursday said its country’s loans were not designed to take over Nigeria or any country.

It said there was nothing to worry about on the sovereignty clause in some of the loan agreements with Nigeria

It said China is committed to enhancing investment and financial cooperation with African countries to improve infrastructure.

The Embassy’s Press Officer, Mr. Sun Saixiong spoke against the backdrop of the row over the sovereignty clause in some loan agreements between Nigeria and China.

It was the first time the Chinese Embassy would make its position known on the controversy surrounding the loans.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) put the total value of loans taken by Nigeria from China as at March 31, 2020, at $3.121 billion.

The loans represent only about 3.94 per cent of Nigeria’s total public debt of $79.303.

In terms of external sources of funds, loans from China accounted for 11.28 per cent of the external debt stock of $27.67 as at the same date.

Saixiong said on telephone: “There is nothing like that (China taking over property). The inclusion of Sovereignty clause is a common practice in many international commercial agreements.

“We see the issue as more of Nigeria’s internal affairs. China follows the approach of no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs.

“The terms of the loans have been explained, we don’t need to say anything on the clause.

“Our position has always been consistent that China is committed to enhancing investment and financial cooperation with African countries based on their needs to help them improve infrastructure and extradite socioeconomic development.

“China always gives full consideration to debt sustainability and seeks mutually-acceptable proposals through equal and friendly consultations.

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