(OPINION) Buhari’s Visit to China: The First Foreign Trip to Yield Quick Economic Gains

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I may be a critic of the global-trotting of President Muhammadu Buhari, but I must commend his trip to The Republic of China, which is the 22nd Countries President Buhari has visited since inception of his administration on May 29, 2015. Going by several analysis of the trip, it would cause economic turnaround in Nigeria, especially the deal on Currency Swapping that will make both countries (Nigeria and China) carry out transaction using the Chinese Currency –Yuan/Naira – as against the Dollar.

A statement on Friday, April 15, 2016, signed by President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Garba Shehu, listed some of the gains of the one-week-trip to China to include a positively huge impact on key sectors of the Nigerian economy including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.

Shehu said: “In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at $478,657,941.28 for the construction of 300 Mega Watts solar power in Shiroro, Niger State.

“In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at $55m for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.

“A total of $1bn is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

“For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a $250m deal to develop an ultra modern 27-storey high rise complex and a $2.5bn agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project.”

According to Shehu, other agreements announced and signed during the visit included the establishment of a Hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa and valued at $200m for the construction of two 500MT/day float gas facilities.

Buhari had while addressing the China-Nigeria forum, said; “An agreement valued at $363m for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi state was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.

“Other agreements undergoing negotiations include a $500m project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a $25m facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited.

“About 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China.”

To me, this is a welcome development and so far, I can say, is the only foreign trip by Mr President, out of 21 others, that will be yielding quick economic relieves to Nigerians. I stand corrected!

While, I laud Mr President’s successes in China, I urge him to put up machinery in place to quickly address the hardly faced by Nigerians as a result of scarcity of petroleum product, fuel, in the country. The product at the moment, is being sold for at 230/250 per litre in Akwa Ibom state nay across Nigeria in few filling stations that open to dispense the product amidst long queues of buyers.

It is my view that Nigeria will be a better place if our leaders focus on delivery democratic dividends to their electorates.

Once again, even though, I am not a politician, I can proudly beat my chest to say YES! I supported the CHANGE mantra of President Buhari.

  • Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and writes in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

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