Nigeria to sign off on $3.8b in Chinese loans
ABUJA (REUTERS) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will travel to China next week to sign off on US$3 billion (S$3.8 billion) in Chinese loans to build infrastructure in Africa's most populous country, the finance minister said on Wednesday.
The agreed loans will come from the Chinese government and will be based on interest rates of less than 3 per cent over a 15-20 year period, Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.
The deal underscores increasing Chinese interest in Africa and its resources - Nigeria is the continent's top oil producer - in competition with Western powers.
Mr Okonjo-Iweala estimates Nigeria needs US$10 billion a year of investment to improve infrastructure like roads and electricity to keep up with a rapidly growing population, already some 170 million, and to sustain economic growth at around 6-7 per cent.