FOCAC: Nige­ria eyes $60bn China as­sis­tance to Africa

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Fran­cis Arinze Iloani

A del­e­ga­tion from Nige­ria yes­ter­day left for Bei­jing, China, for the co­or­di­na­tors’ meet­ing on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the fol­low-up ac­tions of the Jo­han­nes­burg Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China Africa Co­op­er­a­tion (FOCAC).

The del­e­ga­tion, led by the min­is­ter of Bud­get and Na­tional Plan­ning, Se­na­tor Udoma Udo Udoma, is ex­pected to dis­cuss at the meet­ing modal­i­ties for ac­cess­ing a part of the $60 bil­lion China Africa Fund.

A state­ment from Udoma’s me­dia ad­viser, Ak­pan­dem James, re­vealed that Nige­ria re­cently de­vel­oped a short list of projects which the team to China would be dis­cussing at the FOCAC co­or­di­na­tion meet­ing in Bei­jing dur­ing the week.

The Chi­nese govern­ment had pledged a $60 bil­lion as­sis­tance to African coun­tries to de­velop and grow their in­fras­truc­tural and hu­man de­vel­op­ment ca­pac­i­ties, out of which $35 bil­lion was set aside for con­ces­sion­ary loans, $10 bil­lion for the China Africa Fund for Pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity while $5 bil­lion each is ear­marked as no-in­ter­est grants for China Africa De­vel­op­ment Fund and spe­cial loan for the de­vel­op­ment of Small and Medium-Scale En­ter­prises (SMEs).

The FOCAC sum­mit held in Jo­han­nes­burg in De­cem­ber, 2015, iden­ti­fied 10 crit­i­cal ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and African coun­tries, in­clud­ing Nige­ria.

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s visit in April this year fur­ther bol­stered Nige­ria’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 10 crit­i­cal ar­eas which cov­ers in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, agricultural mech­a­ni­sa­tion, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion, green de­vel­op­ment, trade and in­vest­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tion, poverty re­duc­tion, pub­lic health, cul­tural and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­change and peace and se­cu­rity.

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