President Muhammadu Buhari is to ask China’s president, Xi Jinping, at a two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation this week to help fund power and rail projects urgently needed to diversify Nigeria’s economy which has been hit hard by a fall in oil prices.
Roads, railways and power plants are in dire need of repair, leaving Africa’s top oil producer ill-equipped to enact Buhari’s plans to boost the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
Talks are expected to involve the Mambilla hydro-electric power station which has not been developed despite having been first proposed in 1982. “The Chinese president had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement,” said spokesman Garba Shehu.
Buhari has already also indicated to Xi Jinping that he wants to resume stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required which could total around $20 billion, Shehu added.