By Lizzy Okoji
Mr Cui Jianchun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, has compared Nigeria’s money problem to China in the year 1978.
He made the comparison on Thursday, whilst responding to questions on the benefits of Chinese loans to Nigeria, at a seminar held at the University of Abuja.
According to him, China’s loans to Nigeria are of mutual benefit. This he said, is because it is ”only logical that when one lends money to a friend or business partner, one will also think of how to get the value of the money back”.
Jianchun explained that this was because Nigeria and China had a history of good friendship and bilateral relations.
However, he noted that some superpowers were painting a bad picture of China’s intentions.
“Some politicians have tried to use the new colonial system mindset to say that, ok, if I lend you money, if you cannot pay me back, you will lose your sovereignty.
“But I want to let you know that the logic is that first, China loves to do something for Nigeria, not only to help, but it is also beneficial to the two countries.
“For example, the Chinese side can work with Nigeria for the railway station because now, money is a big constraint, just like in 1978, we had no money.
“I had a lot of experience at that time. In China, we did not have money, we did not have the technology, and we did not know how to manage the economy.
“But I do believe that now, at this critical time, we need the money to develop this country. We cannot wait for five years, ten years later.
“Sometimes, when we were planting trees for the next generation, some people said we were borrowing money to let the future generation bear the burden.
“Now, this is not true. Every country has to do something for the next generation, otherwise, the country cannot move forward,” Juanchun said.
“To be frank, by learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future.
“In fact, if we look back on CPC’s 100-year history, we can see why we were successful in the past, and how we can continue to succeed in the future.
“This will ensure that we act with greater resolve and purpose in staying true to our founding mission and pursuing a better future on the new journey that lies before us,” Jianchun said.