By Obinna Agommuo- Executor Director, Economic Strategic Growth And Development Initiative of Africa (ESGADIA)
It has become a source of worry to so many Pan-Africanists here in Africa and in diaspora that the Leaders in Africa seem to find solace in the recent romance with China where almost interest-free 0.5% loans are up for grabs.
The Chinese authority on the other hand has a joker, the loan must be long term of up to 25 years or more and must be sovereignly collateralized. Which means every citizen of that country is indebted to China, certain viable Assets may also be used as part of the collateral security to secure such loans.
You can not also find fairness and equity in any contractual agreement with the Chinese especially when they know you are just hungry for their money and do not care or have eyes for details. We look at the projects and the money without looking at repayment programs. We don’t patronize world class firms that will do proper business plans and feasibilities of the Projects we wish to embark upon. The Chinese too would have to properly translate the documents into Chinese language before they can digest and comprehend the Business plans from those world class firms, so they always prefer they do the Business plans and Feasibilities on your behalf. Like the Prosperity Preacher, they show and teach you only the good side of the sermon which you want to see and hear. The Chinese will offer you these loans without making you see the leads to default of such Loans and the consequences.
Now for a loan that’s 0.5% interest rate, it’s very sweet to hear, but why 25 or 30 years to repay? You will agree with me that this is the joker for the Chinese because they know there’s likelihood that you will default and when that happens, your guess is as good as mine.
And again what is the participation in these projects by the African countries as enshrined in the Agreements?
Equity contribution like the case of the Mambila Power Project of $5.7 Billion; its China 85% : Nigeria 15% while the participation is China 70% and Nigeria 30%(Local Content).
So the Chinese is bringing all equipment, Machinery including labour to execute the Mambila Project while we are asked to supply Granites, sand, cement and the likes if we must partake in the project execution.
This is not very healthy for us as Nigerians and as Africans but we have no choice as our Government have only put down 15% by way of Land, infrastructures, security and maybe some cash.
The Chinese know we are not good managers of Assets more so when they supply you with substandard materials and build for you, so we are bound to default, they will just wait patiently to take over should that happens. The Petroleum we rely on to repay these loans is sure going to lose its value in 20 to 30 years time as Fossil fuel is fast giving way for Renewable or Green energy. We don’t take this into consideration.
When a loan’s interest is close to free, Africans normally go to sleep believing that Allah or Almighty God who brought this free money to them will sure make a way for repayment. Africans must wake up and smell the coffee in dealing with the Chinese.
The question is why can’t Africa build herself without looking up for Loans or Grants from the East and the West?
Today we prefer to deal with the Chinese than the Europeans, American and the Arabs. But how may of us know that the fakest human beings on the planet earth are the Chinese? How many of us know that no Chinese man on the face of this earth bears an English name originally? But they go about with names like David Chan, Peter Chen etc. These English names are not their original names as they are fake and we allow them to sign contracts with us using English names attached to their names. Their Passport Data pages will reveal their true names.
If we must enter into contracts with the Chinese at all we must be cautious of this fact and cause them to show their Passport Data pages and you will be shocked that you can’t find that English name on the Chinese passport. The reason is simple, they claim to nickname themselves so to be able to penetrate the business world, but a Chinese is a Chinese. This is from an in-depth research and proven to be so true. This explains why they are quick to default in an Agreement and when you go looking for justice in China, you won’t find such name except you have copy of his or her passport data page, besides everybody is looking alike in China.
The Chinese are definitely not the best people to partner with if we must develop Africa with foreign aides. They never give back to the host community, they never help in Community Development, even the roads that lead to their factories they can never help to tar at their own volition. But the Europeans and Americans are relatively better in their approach to business.
The highest the Chinese pay the average Nigerian worker for example is not more than 20,000 Naira per month, all -in and maybe 50,000 Naira including allowances for Graduates. They make sure the Local staffs work their hearts out for peanuts while they pay their Ex-prison convicts that they import into Africa in hundreds of Dollars to a thousand Dollar or more excluding allowances.
Our African Leaders have no interest in the lives of their citizenry, it is sad.
We are busy giving way to the Chinese to take over Africa and our Leaders are helping the Chinese build smooth roads to more economic development of China while Africa story will only change for the worse with the Chinese loans. Africa must say no to Chinese Loans.