Galvanizing for Geometric Growth in Nigeria amid Global Trade War & Pandemic (Part Two)
By Oremade Oyedeji
Don’t get confused with my introduction; I am now practicing how to switch my transcript between English and Chinese, just in case.
I wrote; Translation – Let me start today article with this phrase; “Find your purpose and stay in your lane, and just maybe, you can be part of the creative Nigeria”.
Yes! a creative Nigerian strategy (for example) that migrated Victor Agunbiade from Nigeria in 2007, enlisted in the Navy as a storekeeper in 2008 and commissioned as an officer of the US Navy in 2013 is fulfilling purpose.
I have no doubt that Hon. Abike Kafayat Oluwatoyin Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, would be proud to identify with him.
Recently, the United States Navy celebrated now English speaking Lieutenant Victor Agunbiade, a Nigerian decent of the Yoruba native, for an effective management of its largest overseas cash disbursement office.
Agunbiade, a Nigerian-born US Navy Reserve Supply Officer currently serving at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Development Medal for his exemplary accountability.
The money accounted for approximately 70 per cent of its overseas disbursing volume. The Nigerian-born US Navy has been the officer in charge of dispersing and money collection for the entire African regional operation.
Working from an austere environment, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti is a US Navy base. Djibouti is strategically located in the Horn of Africa and is the only enduring US military base on the continent of Africa.
Why Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti?
You will recall that, Djibouti made headline in recent month as she lost her final bid for a sit at the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) to Kenya. Well, Djibouti presence in Nigeria is very noticeable, and that perhaps maybe influenced singularly by the choice of their representative in Nigeria, who is also a Nigerian bred, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, a very inspiring Nigerian I look up to. Don’t bother “googling” his name, you won’t find much, he is hardly on camera. Me: Smiles…
Djibouti celebrated her independence day a few months back and it lost its biggest infrastructure and highest employer of labour, the seaport, to China, maybe deceptively and has set it up as a military base.
There has been a military build-up there as Victor Agunbiade and his US troops have also setup a base there to keep the communists in check.
Amid Global Balance of Trade, the truth is Africa is still a colony. Responding to a question by a South African journalist in 2016 in Nebraska, you will recall that Donald Trump said “there is no shortcut to maturity, Africa should be re-colonized for another 100 years, Trump was said to have referred to Africans as slaves that they know nothing about leadership and self-governance.
In Nigeria, according to a press release titled Facts About Chinese Loans to Nigeria by the Debt Management Office (DMO) recently, the agency said; “As at March 31, 2020, the total borrowing by Nigeria from China was $3.121 billion (N1,126.68 billion at $1/N361) out of the total public debt of $79.303 billion (N28,628.49 billion at $1/N361).”
Similarly, in terms of external sources of funds, loans from China accounted for 11.28 per cent of the external debt stock of $27.67 billion at the same date, said the debt office.
The issue with Chinese debt trap diplomacy is that, most Chinese loans are tied to infrastructural developments; some African nations have had to forfeit their stakes in their country national infrastructure, which they used as collateral, after they defaulted.
For instance, $7.4 billion of Zambia’s total $8.7 billion foreign debt is owed to China and since late 2018, the Zambian government has been in talks with China and if care is not taken, the country might totally surrender the state electricity company, ZESCO, to China as a form of debt repayment since the country has defaulted on the plethora of Chinese loans for its infrastructure projects.
Zambia has already lost its international airport in Lusaka, and 60 per cent stake in the state own media ZMBC to China.
Another African country in the Chinese debt trap diplomacy is Kenya, which lost its most lucrative port, Port of Mombasa, to China after it defaulted in the refund.
Others are Sri Lankan Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, due to Sri Lanka’s inability to service the debt on the port. It was leased to the Chinese state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited on a 99-year lease in 2017.
Aside Chinese strategy policy for Africa being said to be a population swap as laid out in an obnoxious instrument, African population is strangely projected to also decrease by some unknown occurrences.
The technique is to grant African countries some toxic loans to build lagging infrastructure and get African leaders to sign a cloak contract that will permanently transfer the ownership of these ports to the Chinese nation.
China may effectively own the African continent and its resources ahead of the United States of America if this strategic plan works. The consequence is that Chinese citizens may take over the police and major infrastructure due to failure of repayment.
As my introductory paragraph pointed, perhaps, all Africans should all start learning Chinese language from now. 我寧願學習Yoruba 代替
In Nigeria, the Chinese presence is very obvious and they are heavily involved in illegal mining due to our lack of mining infrastructural know-how.
Nigeria needs to avoid unscrupulous loan contracts that are not properly matched to commercially viable infrastructural development.
In my opinion, a loan is not bad if the infrastructure being financed with it is commercially appraised like the Fourth Mainland Bridge infrastructure financed by a multilateral bank, African Finance Cooperation (AFC) created by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to fund infrastructure in Africa and is located in Osborne Ikoyi Lagos.
In a relative twist, a top Nigerian banker, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, was cleared after a corruption probe. Sequel to my article published in June 2020 title galvanizing for geometric growth amid global trade war & pandemic” (part 1), where I dwelled on the issue, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has now been cleared of corruption charges after a review by an independent panel.
The United States, one of the bank’s biggest shareholders, insisted on a new inquiry in April after an internal review cleared Akinwumi Adesina.
Whistle-blowers were claimed to have accused the Nigerian of giving contracts to friends and loans to his African family. Mr Adesina is set to be re-elected for another five-year term in August. Besides the core 54 African countries, the United States is one of the 27 non-regional members of the AfDB and its second largest shareholder.
In conclusion, this period of history is evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power, associated with the ideological notion of world governance in the sense of new collective efforts to identify, understand, or address worldwide problems.
In achieving this task, one fact is certain, there is a move for a new destination for money, a deliberate shift of the world economic resources.
Africa needs to be properly positioned for it, just like Victor Agunbiade and Dr Taiwo Afolabi mention earlier in the this article, More Nigerians need to be strategically positioned for the task ahead.