Like many African countries, Nigeria has embraced China as an economic partner, which has been made possible through the constant interaction, exchange of information by heads of states and that personnel in a ministerial position where both countries have affirmed their commitment to broadening their economic relations. Nigeria has witnessed some Chinese investments. It is evident that the Chinese have always aimed at developing Nigeria to extract natural resources, labor and the establishment of a satellite launch site which gives China better access to technical difficulties. Both countries are taking mutual advantage of this mutual interaction to improve on Nigeria’s domestic economy than just being a mere producer of raw materials for China.
One of the significant problem that Nigeria has to improve is the political instability. Political instability has tormented Nigeria due to Boko Haram, a terrorist sect that wants to implement the Sharia law in the Nigerian society. Individuals, countries or companies prefer to invest in politically stable countries, which gives Nigeria a disadvantage. Many scholars, researchers, and experts have stated that political instability that proven to be an adverse effect on foreign direct investment. Nigeria’s situation two years back was threatening Chinese national interests, as there were cases on the kidnappings of Chinese nationals for ransom.
It is evident that Chinese investments have helped the Nigerian economy. Nigeria’s opportunity to develop its manufacturing industries promote local and small, medium enterprises, increase employment, reduce the importation of cheap goods, reduce goods smuggling, and develop local Nigerian markets all depends on the government of Nigeria.
There have been contradictory views regarding Chinese investments in Nigeria. While there are scholars, researchers, and politicians who have expressed their gratitude towards China’s assistance in Nigeria, there are some who have criticized the Chinese on various grounds. In Nigeria, the investment in the oil sector has only been worsening the reliance on Nigeria’s natural resources while degrading the environment and violating laws. There is no doubt that the Nigerian government wants to eradicate corruption from the country; however, there have been incidents that Chinese employees have been using corrupted methods to secure oil blocks and assets. There have also been incidents regarding Chinese employers and their behavior towards the employees. A Chinese fill the managerial position of Chinese companies, and the Nigerian employees do not reach that rank. One of the crucial problems faced in Nigeria is the discrimination of the Nigerians in their home country, done by the Chinese and Indians mainly. If the government of Nigeria takes a drastic step towards this, it would be beneficial for the country as that is one way the government is establishing a trustworthy relationship with the people of the country.
Overall, there is no doubt that China is an excellent economic partner that can promote investments and help increase the economic growth in Nigeria, but China’s aid and partnership come at an expense. The local markets and businesses, as well as employees, will be taking a significant hit from this partnership if the right policies are not implemented. Nigeria’s industry, natural resources, and corruption are a challenge to any development in the state. China’s partnership has been relieving some urgent needs but cannot eradicate poverty, and underdevelopment in Nigeria. Its investments are not sustainable to the Nigerian economy that is dependent on China. One primary strategy that would be advantageous for both countries is if China invests in African peacebuilding and try to establish unity among the African countries. This cooperation would be beneficial for China since they plan to expand to other parts of Africa, for Nigeria this would be beneficial as this brings them closer to other African countries, which would affect trade in a positive manner.
This paper has analyzed the primary interests, motives behind China’s interest in Nigeria from a geopolitical perspective as well as from a logical perspective.
There are a few recommendations that would help both countries as investments have been increasing in Nigeria. Firstly, China must improve the bilateral and multilateral cooperation by using its multilateral channels with Africa as well as the UN. At the same time, Nigeria must focus on regional cooperation to prevent the spill-over effect of Boko Haram. Secondly, China must help Nigeria and the African Union to reinstate a security framework of well-equipped and well-trained forces to protect lives. Lastly, China and Nigeria soul work side by side to establish a risk assessment tool. While working would help both countries, as they would be able to present it to figure Nigerian invests.
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