China, Nigeria Discuss Investment in Oil, Electricity

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Nigerian officials to discuss oil exports and other energy matters. From Bloomberg:

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, on a six-nation tour of Africa and the Middle East, met his Nigerian counterpart, Ojo Maduekwe, in the capital, Abuja, today. Issues discussed included further investment in power transmission and generation and in oil exports, the Nigerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. China is also helping to repair the rail system and develop communication satellites for Nigeria, the ministry said.

China needs to “import oil from other countries, including Nigeria,” Yang said at a news briefing. “A lot more can be done,” he said without providing details.

China is increasing its investment in African energy and minerals to feed its growing economy. In 2008, the country invested $7.8 billion in the continent. At a summit in November, China said it will offer $10 billion in preferential loans to Africa over the next three years to develop infrastructure and social programs. It also plans to write off the debt of some of the poorest nations.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer. Since 2006, China’s energy companies have announced plans to spend at least $16 billion on oil and gas fields on the continent.

More, from AFP:

China has aggressively stepped up trade and economic ties with the resource-rich Africa in recent years, prompting critics to accuse it of taking a “neo-colonialist” attitude.

Yang said Nigeria’s exports to China shot up about 50 percent in 2009. “We are going to import even more from Nigeria,” he said.

In November at a meeting of China-Africa leaders in Egypt, Beijing pledged 10 billion dollars in concessional loans to African countries.

The Friday talks also discussed boosting communication technology and the development of Nigeria’s dilapidated railway infrastructure, officials said.


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