President Xi Jinping of China has committed to increasing investments in Nigeria’s power generation sector and digital economy, following a Belt and Road Initiative forum held in Beijing. According to the office of the Nigerian Vice President, Vice President Kashim Shettima, Nigeria’s National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and three Chinese partners have signed contracts for new projects valued at $2 billion.
In addition to these agreements, Nigeria has also received letters of intent for new projects and investments worth $4 billion in various sectors of the economy. This move is part of Nigeria’s efforts to attract investments and stimulate growth in its economy, which is grappling with high debt, inflation, and unemployment.
The signed agreements encompass a range of projects, including vehicle assembly, solar products, vehicle design and production, drone technology transfer, clean energy utilisation, and the development of an industrial park. Furthermore, Nigeria has signed contracts with the China Harbour Engineering Company for the construction of the Lekki Blue Seaport in Lagos.
During the forum, Vice President Shettima met with President Xi, who expressed the importance of safeguarding Chinese workers in Nigeria. China has previously committed to various projects in Nigeria, including rail initiatives and a seaport in Bonny Island, although these projects are still awaiting loan disbursements after receiving approvals from China Exim Bank and Nigeria’s parliament.
At the Belt and Road Initiative Forum, China also pledged to refinance two rail projects that had stalled due to reductions in China’s funding commitments, as they initially agreed to provide 85% of the financing for these projects.