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John George Igoche on Nigeria-Asia partnership for development


NigeriaChina Development partnershipJONATHAN’S ECONOMIC FORAY INTO CHINA

Call it an onslaught, if it sounds better, but whatever angle you view the President’s recent full complement visit to the world’s second largest economy and world power, China, from 10th to 12th July, no one can be left in doubt that GEJ is having Nigeria highest on his mind right into the future and well into the magic 2020 vision envisioned by his late partner, late Shehu Yar’Adua and himself since 2007.

Reading the press comments of Aviation Minister, Hon Stella Odua, Head of Media for this historic economic venture into the Asian heartland and her counterpart Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of Finance, I was convinced that our President is on a die-hard mission to elevate the Nigerian infrastructural landscape far beyond the expectations of his critics from the opposition.

Indeed from China, well away from Western jingoism, President Jonathan has scored a master stroke and in the next few months the legendary Chinese economic magic will work wonders in Nigeria, creating jobs for the unemployed and jobless youths and propelling massive activity in the industrial and economic hub of this country,Nigeria.Take it or leave it, we are on the verge of huge economic revolution with this Chinese partnership which GEJ has embarked on mid-year into his very first term as leader of this great country.

I am so excited I could do a break dance 300 metres long! Just six months from now and we will see that the Chinese magic will do the trick: Railways will be constructed and so activated, our airports will wear a new look, seaports modernisation too a

nd the on-going agricultural revolution will gather momentum, accelerated food production and engagement of youths in the industrial sector and the rural economy will be boosted.

Speaking with an economist of some think-tank which does development analysis of third world economies, I was avidly informed that the Western economies are no longer ready to stand aloof, watching China overrun the developing economies with their aggressive marketing of their now well-articulated economic prowess; of most concern is the low cost and ease of doing business with Asian countries, versus the strict protectionist tendencies of most of the Western countries,inspite of the much touted AGOA of the USA and other WTO agreements and of course some who are very reluctant to shed their colonial garb which they used in the past to slow down the growth and development of their so-called “vassal” nations, mostly in the African continent.

In fact according to the experts, China may sooner than later unseat the USA from the number one slot as the greatest glob

al economy. With this recent move by a strategic African nation as Nigeria, the die is cast for indeed when President Jonathan returns with a bag of direct foreign financial nuggets and investments from this China trip, the gap for now will be variously filled to generate huge investment potential capable of catapulting the GEJ’s transformation agenda many notches higher than the past two years.

I will not venture into the salient details of all the loan agreements or DFI protocols that will be so signed but I am convinced that this government has put its right foot forward to grow the Nigerian economy beyond what it presently is and it is better to hope that the army of unemployed youths will soon find engagement within the precincts of what President Jonathan and his team bring back to Nigeria at the end of this visit.

John George Igoche (Public Affairs commentator)



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