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Perhaps because of the misguided Western hermitic claims in historic present, Africa is regarded
as the „dark continent‟ from where nothing important, aside from natural resources meant for the
consumption of factories of the developed world, could emanate. Beyond this, one realizes that
the existing relations between Africans and Europeans has been since about the Thirteen
Century, and even at that, they said relations have mostly been asymmetrical and to the
advantage of the Europeans. In recent decades however, especially since the Second World War,
there has been a serious surge in the relations that African units enter into non-European states;
and these comprise of the ones with the United States and Japan to mention a few. These
countries and their European counterparts, mostly Britain and France that consider themselves as
conventional „overlords‟ in the region are faced with serious contenders in the emerging Asian
powers of China and India.
Really China and Africa are quite far apart; the existing relative amity between the country and
the varying units of Africa is traceable to about 1000 BC. In 1415 however, Chinese explorers
visited the East African coast, taking with them ship-loads of Chinese commodities, such as
Ceramic wares in return, domestic articles of trade were given by some African states, for
instance Kenya. The modern Sino-African relations started from the Bandung conference held in
the 1955, which was widely regarded as a seminal event in Sino-Africa history (China –Africa
Friendship and Cooperation, 2000). The conference was expected to enhance economic and
cultural cooperation of the two continents and promoted the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial
struggle. China presented to Africa what she called “five principles of peaceful coexistence”
which covered mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-interference in
each other‟s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. The
achievement of great diplomatic success followed after the conference and increased Chinese
interests in the continent. In 1963, Premier Zhou embarked on his first ten-nation tour of Africa
to promote the second Asia-African conference. Zhou put forward a particular eight – principles
that were designed to guide China‟s engagement to African countries. These principles clearly
clarified the Chinese intention to assist African countries by the policy of economic and technical
aid. On the ideological level, China seemed to support any revolutionary movement against
imperialism, including African revolutions. On the political level, the primary motivation was to
compete with Taiwan and then get Africa to support the Peoples Republic of China in
international recognition as well as to compete with the Soviet Union in the African sphere.
China-Africa cooperation has particularly been put in the spot light. Some international
observers accuse Chinese foreign policy towards African countries of undermining international
efforts to increase transparency and good governance- (African research bulletin:2006). Others
describe it as a policy of an aid for oil strategy or even a neo-colonial policy. On the African
side, some blame on Chinese enterprises of underbidding local firms, especially in the textile
industry, or of failing to hire Africans. In Beijing, the Chinese government insists on its noninterference policy and refuses to link business with the human right issues. The Beijing summit
in 2006 accelerated the interaction between China and Africa even further, as the two sides
decided to accelerate cooperation especially in joint resources exploration and exploitation.
The relations between the federal republic of Nigeria and the people republic of China have
expanded on growing trade and strategic cooperation. Nigeria and the People‟s Republic of
China established formal diplomatic relations on February 10, 1971.
In this study, China‟s foreign policy toward Africa is narrowed to her economic relationship with
Nigeria. An attempt is made therefore to evaluate and critically analyze the extent of this
diplomatic relationship. Since February 10, 1971, many Chinese leaders have visited Nigeria just
as many leaders of Nigeria have visited China. Relations between the two countries have since
enjoyed smooth and steady development. Since May 1999 after Nigeria returned to constitutional
democracy, former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo visited China twice, in 2001
and 2005 with his Chinese counterpart reciprocating both visits. Many high level visits have
taken place between ministers and top officials of both nations. China and Nigeria have signed a
number of agreements on trade, economic and technical cooperation as well as an agreement on
investment protection. The two countries set up a Joint Economic and Trade Commission.
During the first four months of 2004, the volume of trade grew further by 17.6 percent which
amounted to $609 million with Nigeria‟s export to China registering a growth of 330 percent.
China‟s main exports to Nigeria are industrial, mechanical and electrical products. China‟s main
imports from Nigeria are Petroleum, Timber and cotton. Between 1999 till date, China and
Nigeria signed agreements to boost their relations including the under mentioned followings;
 In April 2002, the two governments signed the Agreement for the avoidance of double
taxation and the prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect taxes on income.
 In July of the same year, they signed the agreement on cooperation on strengthening
management of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and diversion of precursor
chemical and the agreement on Tourism cooperation.
Both states agreed to establish a strategic partnership featuring mutual political trust,
mutual economic benefit and mutual support.
Nigeria and People‟s Republic of China, on 13th October, 2005 signed a contract
agreement for the construction of water schemed for 19 states and the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT) at the cost of N695 million.
During President Hu Jintao‟s visit to Nigeria in April 2006, Nigeria and China signed four
agreements and three memoranda of Understanding (MOU‟s) on a range of programs to
enhance their economic ties including the financial agreement of N8.36 billion (5 million
Chinese Yuan) in support of the Roll-back Malaria program, an agreement centered to set
up a team of experts for the Nigeria-China friendship cultural project and a memorandum
of understanding on the provision of national information communication Technology
Infrastructure backbone between the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and
Huwaei Technologies.
Till now, China has set up more than 30 solely funded companies and Joint ventures in Nigeria.
The main projects contacted or undertaken in the form of labor service by Chinese companies in
Nigeria are the rehabilitation of Nigerian railway, The Games village of Abuja Sports Complex.
Major Chinese companies which have undertaken projects in Nigeria are China Geological
Engineering Company, China Harbor Engineering Company and China Civil Construction
Corporation. China is also involved in construction, oil and gas, Technology, Service and
Education sectors of the Nigerian economy. The trade volume between the two countries in 2003
reached $1.86 billion representing a 59 percent growth. According to the Economic and
Commercial office of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, the total volume of trade between China
and Nigeria was US$570 million in 1999 and the figure went up to US$860 million in the year
2000 and $1 billion in 2007 (Olugboyega: 2010)
On the other hand, it is on record that over twenty state governors apart from several corporate
bodies have paid official and private visits respectively to the People‟s Republic of China in
search of joint venture partners for assorted economic and industrial development projects with
varying degrees of success since the assumption of office in May, 1999 (Chibundu:2003). As on
previous occasions the Nigeria – China friendship association and several Nigerian Corporate
Bodies comprised the unofficial delegation which dialogued with the Chinese private enterprises
during the one day business forum in Beijing. (NIIA:2001) it is under considerations that the
impact of the foreign Economic Policy or Economic Diplomacy of Nigeria over the past four
Decades must be reasonably accessed rather than on occasional spasm engendered by vagaries of
international politics totally beyond the control of any developing country.
Chinese activities in Africa are increasing and Nigeria must avail herself the opportunity of this
trend to expend her market. According to a 2006 report of the China –Africa business Council,
China was Africa‟s third most important trading partner behind United States and France but
ahead of the United Kingdom. Five years after in 2011 a report came up that the current
emerging African biggest trade partners are India, Brazil and China. Because our focus is on
China – Nigeria economic relations it is important to note that this relation goes beyond
commercial exchanges, and increasingly beyond raw material extraction. The Chinese offer more
flexible financing, more appropriate expertise, technology and training, more affordable and
promptly delivered infrastructure, generic drugs, mechanics and consumer goods adapted to
Africa thereby putting an end to decades of a near unilateral dependence on western sponsors.
Today, Nigeria‟s trade with emerging countries especially China has doubled reaching 40% of its
total trade volume. Ten years ago they represented only half of the trade between Nigeria and
European Union. The current trend since China overtook the United States as Africa‟s top
trading partners seem much more promising. One very interesting factor working well for this
very partnership is the fact that China has completely removed herself from political interference
of African continent as far as internal political issues are concerned. China-Nigeria has gone
through different stages starting from the pre-colonial relationship and even after colonialism.
China and Nigeria has been in diplomatic relations that has profited the both sides economically,
therefore a critical assessment of their diplomatic relations from 2009-2014 will underlined the
pros and cons as well as guide for a better relationship.
In view of the need to access some crucial resources, which are relevant to both the sustenance
and/or furtherance of its advancement, and in order to secure large market for its mass produced
goods, China has deepened its interests and presence in Africa. Granted Nigeria‟s standing as the
largest economy in Africa, one cannot but be more concerned about its relations with China. The
win-win consequences that Sino-Nigeria trading relations would engender is already well
established in literature, especially from Nigeria‟s perspective. However, there is still scanty
attention to how such assumed „symbiotic‟ relations could be responsible for complex economic
issues and problems in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are to:
1. examine the growing importance of China‟s presence and interests in Africa for
Nigeria‟s economy;
2. analyze the implications of the varying economic issues that could be engendered by
the convergence of the growing Chinese interests in Africa for Nigeria; and
3. Investigate how Nigeria is responding to the complexity of economic issues arising
from the convergence of Chinese interests in Nigeria.
The study will be having the following significances
A. Practical Significance
B. Academic Significance
Practical Significance
1. To assist the Nigerian public to understand China-Nigeria relations.
2. To assist policy makers in formulating diplomatic policies for the Nigeria
3. It will help government to review, strengthen and tackle Nigeria‟s challenges in her
relations with China.
Academic Significance
1. To add to existing knowledge and works on China-Nigeria economic
2. To accept or reject existing conclusion made on Nigeria-China economic
3. To assist future researchers on related topics that may need the existing
knowledge to create or build new knowledge.
This study will focus attention on Nigeria-China economic relations. The scope of issues that
will be examined is limited to the scope of the overall objectives of the research. However, the
time-coverage of this research is 2009-2014. My limitation would be time and money and also
access to reliable materials to my research topic, during my field survey I wasn‟t able to gain
access to China Embassy and some respondents were not ready to voluntarily cooperate with me.
In an effort to assess Nigeria- china economic relations with particular reference to 2009-2014,
attempts will be made to answer through the review of existing literature and questionnaires in
the course of this research work. Such questions include the following:
1. What are the growing importance of China‟s presence and interests in Africa for
Nigeria‟s economy?
2. Are there implications in the varying economic issues that are arising from the
convergence of the growing Chinese interests in Africa for Nigeria?
3. How is Nigeria responding to the complexity of economic issues arising from the
convergence of Chinese interests in Nigeria?
This is a testable proposition about the relationship between two or more events or concept.
The hypothesis to be used here will serve as a guide to the investigator in search for data or
information for the investigation.
This hypothesis will be related to the statement of the problem. This will be demonstrated in
simple and clear terms under methodology (chapter three) of this project.
The null hypothesis: Ho is the ideal situation.
The alternative hypothesis: H1 is the converse of the null hypothesis.
The hypothesis can be defined as follows:
1. H0- There is a growing importance of China‟s presence and interests in Africa for
Nigeria‟s economy.
H1- There is no growing importance of China‟s presence and interest in Africa for
Nigeria‟s economy.
2. H0-There are implications in the varying economic issues that are arising from the
convergence of the growing Chinese interest in Africa for Nigeria.
H1- There is no implication in the varying economic issues that are arising from the
convergence of the growing Chinese interest in Africa for Nigeria.
3. H0-Nigeria is responding to the complexity of economic issues arising from the
convergence of Chinese interest in Nigeria.
H1-Nigeria is not responding to the complexity of economic issues arising from the
convergence of Chinese interest in Nigeria


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