With an estimated 170 million people growing at over two percent annually, Nigeria is the seventh largest country in the world. According to the United Nations (UN) statistics, Nigeria's population will reach 230 million in the next 20 years. Representing more than 65 percent effective market West Africa, the country remains the most competitive for the establishment of medium and large manufacturing destination.
As the morning up early, China has already positioned to take advantage of this growing market by unleashing your horde of investors and businessmen in the manufacturing sector. Textile for clothing; appliances, automobiles; consumables and iron and steel, as well as ICT products, China has taken over, producing tons of products for different market segments.
More Chinese companies are expanding their investments in the manufacturing sector ostensibly hoping to technology transfer and staff training to increase local employment opportunities. For example, metal products proprietary Chinese Western Company Limited (WEMPCO) a multi-million naira integrated steel factory, located in Magboro in Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, is the first of its kind in Africa . The steel plant manufacturing expansion boasts a production capacity of 700,000 metric tons and production machinery five support Tandem Mill.
The factory, according to the Group Managing Director, Mr. Lewis Tung, plate produce cold rolled steel up to 0.15 mm thick coils of the same size and above. Other facilities at the plant are: 52 MW generator for food; water treatment and recycling plant; acid a generating plant; an air purifier and annealing line.
The economic benefits of investment are enormous. In addition to boosting the economic activities of the communities immediate, local, state and federal government acceptance, increased post stimulate economic activities and create jobs for artisans, such as technicians, drivers, technicians and automobile manufacturers. Mr Tung added that also improve training and technology transfer. More importantly, the investment will fill the void left by the dying Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State.
Another area witnessed massive investment in China's agriculture. A Chinese leader, New Hope Liuhe Company Ltd., said the investment interest in agribusiness. In a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the Commission of Nigeria Investment Promotion (NIPC), Mrs. Uju Hassan-Baba, at the headquarters of the committee in Abuja, he said it plans to invest in other sectors such as manufacturing, processing and feed sale of raw materials additives, dairy and agricultural bye products, among others.
Chinese companies are also investing in seed cultivation and have become suppliers of seeds of the Federal Government, a development that has high local grain production.
The Chinese have been visible in the transport sector, especially in rail transport. The contract trains Lagos-Ibadan $ 1,490,000,000 has been awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and the Olokola Deep Water Port project awarded to the China Ocean Shipping Group. The CCECC is also managing the project 27.5 kilometers Marina-Ido-Okokomaiko Lagos Light Rail. The governor of Lagos State has said that Akinwunmi Ambode naira billion project will be completed in 12 months.
According to a report by Ernst & Young on Nigeria issued for the World Economic Forum on Africa 2014, CCECC is the prime contractor for engineering, procurement and construction for the mass transit rail project Lagos. The first phase of the project -'Blue Line '- is scheduled for completion later this year.
The state-owned Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) is also providing a fully developed $ 500 million concessional loan for the modernization of 186 kilometers of railway line Abuja-Kaduna, which includes the construction of 36 bridges and nine stations . The Federal Government source the balance of $ 374 million. Continue along that line single standard width was formally launched in July 2013.
Before his inauguration on May 29, Buhari received a delegation of the CCECC, who paid a visit to present a prototype of its proposed high-speed train. Observers described the visit as an indication that the Buhari administration may be seeking to develop a high-speed rail network across Nigeria.
Before his departure from office, former President Goodluck Jonathan raised the rail network in a coma with N24 billion ($ 151.7 million) lifeline involving upgrading of tracks and signaling equipment. With the purchase of 25 GE locomotives, 500 wagons and renovation of passenger cars, services have resumed at 1126 kilometers from Lagos-Kano train route. The route had been closed for a decade.
The rebirth occurred immediately after the inauguration of some, automotive diesel air conditioning coaches 68 seats six long distance air conditioning in June last year. The new rolling stock was acquired by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
It was part of the Federal Government Strategic Plan '25 -year train ', designed to encourage private investment in the renewal of existing lines narrow gauge railroad in the country and the construction of new standard gauge lines.
This was supplemented by China in 2012 with the formal opening of a training center for CCECC Railway Technology in Abuja to help in the development of Nigerians needed to support plans for rail and mass transit systems skills. The China Railway Construction Corporation Limited described its $ 8.3 billion project to modernize the rail network in the country as its "largest overseas project."
In addition to plants and power train, the Asian nation is also essential to support Nigeria with financial arrangements and investments in strategic infrastructure projects, including roads, airport terminals and free trade zones, among others. For example, China and Chinese companies are primarily interested in the Lekki Free Trade (LFTZ), Lagos. Upon completion, the project will attract international investors in manufacturing, trade and tourism, among other sectors.
It is expected that the project to provide 300, 000 direct and 600 000 indirect jobs in the coming years. Informed that the description of the LFTZ as one of the biggest Chinese projects in the country by former Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Olusegun Aganga.
Chinese companies have reaped a substantial part of the burgeoning telecommunications / ICT market in Nigeria. Chinese companies, in collaboration with telecom operators, are essential to the unprecedented growth of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. Through the active participation of Chinese companies and investors, mobile phone subscription in Nigeria has increased from below 400, 000 in 2001 to over 140 million. Teledensity has also grown more than 100 percent.
The popular Global System for Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) villages in Lagos and Abuja, and various other commercial cities across the country bear tracks dominance of China sector. Most mobile phone shops in the two city centers are full of Chinese products, ranging from mobile phones to laptops, Bluetooth headsets and devices for hands-free devices, among others.
To Seye Olatunji, a GSM operator in GSM / Computer Village, Ikeja, the business of selling products in China it has been exciting and rewarding.
His words: ". Usually, it is more expensive to buy products from other Western countries, but that is not the same for China Most of us here can now go to China ourselves and buy products at very flexible terms and conditions" .
Even buyers share the same sentiment. "If China's smartphones are compared with those of other countries, there is little or no difference at all. And the Chinese are even cheaper. So, why should I spend more money on something equivalent to it?" Hassan Audu , a client computer in the Village he asked.
Dozens of Chinese companies dominate the retail market segment in various parts of the country. Viju milk brands such as Huawei, ZTE, Alcatel and others are household names Chinese restaurants, such as the Golden Gate, Lagos; Oasis Bakery everything in Lagos and several other business outlets dotting the landscape and are enjoying huge sponsorship.
Since 2005, when it was established, China Town in Lagos, has been serving as a one-stop shop for goods and services, ranging from textiles, shoes, jewelry, electronics, kitchenware and other items. Visit the city of China, with its competitive prices and accessibility has become a necessity for most buyers of Nigeria.
Nigeria has become the beautiful bride for Chinese investors is an open secret. Abundant but largely untapped natural resources; large domestic market of more than 170 million; a growing middle class with purchasing power and an increasingly stable political, among others, have become irresistible to China and Asian investors.
Vast energy reserves of Nigeria, especially in oil and gas, may be all that is needed to feed the growing industry of China. Most populous and biggest economy in Africa with the size of GDP of about $ 500 billion is also the largest market for industrial products of China in Africa. Nigeria imports from China alone account for over one third of its total trade with West Africa.
The volume of imports is expected to increase in coming years as Nigeria favors various agencies and international ratings analysts to overtake South Africa in 2025 if the current growth rate of GDP is maintained. Nigeria relatively stable democracy also is believed to be one of the main factors for investors around the world especially in China see the country as an investment destination.
In addition, ease of start-ups in Nigeria has improved through ongoing reforms in the area of trade and investment. The returns on investment in Nigeria are relatively high, especially considering the exchange rate of the dollar to naira with major Western currencies and the Chinese yuan.
The pattern and dynamics of the Nigerian economy may have also opened the gate for Chinese enterprises to invest heavily. For example, experts say Nigeria's transition from a manufacturing and producing agricultural nation to an economy dependent on imports may have expanded the retail sector, which now accepts virtually anything from anywhere in the world. This is the leeway through which investors and Chinese products have taken root in Nigeria. The emergence of a vibrant retail sector in Nigeria is also said that as a result of various porous borders of the nation.
Akabogu As noted, Nigeria has benefited over Nigeria. According to him, the trade balance between both countries has tripled since the return of democracy in 1999.
"It has been a mutually beneficial business relationship. China takes oil from Nigeria as the barter trade for construction activities, the Chinese government subsidizes. What Nigerian exports to China are oil and some agric products," he said . Akabogu added that Nigeria has been sending engineers to substitute Chinese engineering system at a subsidized rate.
But as rewarding as the relationship may be to Nigeria, there is concern about alleged unfair practices by Chinese companies, anti-union practices and the perceived dominance of the market for fake and shoddy products from China. The idea is that the West may be delayed in the Nigerian market because of the quality of their products compared to the cheapest and lowest standard Chinese products. This is true especially in Nigeria, where consumers cheaper products more sponsor while remaining indifferent about the quality.
But as regards the Director General of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) Sir Emeka Okereke, China is not to blame for the prevalence of substandard products in the market. He blamed the situation of weak institutions in Nigeria. "It is because of our inherent weak institutions that are unable to check the influx of substandard products," he told La Nacion, asking, "Where is our customs?"
She said Customs and other regulatory agency must wake up to its responsibilities. "Our borders and ports should it be effectively monitored especially given that we are an economy dependent on imports," he said.
Akabogu agrees with him. He said that blaming China for standard and fake products in Nigeria amounts to throwing punches in the wrong direction.
His words: "It (inferior products) is a default by the regulatory bodies is why we have been Canvassing strengthening institutions rather than individuals.".
The lawyer said there was the need to revitalize the institutions such as the Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), among others. "It comes down to the question of leadership, it is a lack of credibility, a problem of powers by the institutions of Nigeria", he insisted.
He also said that every capitalist is in business to make profits and China is no exception. According to him, it is left for the host country to put in place measures to check possible excesses of foreign countries and companies operating in their territory. Also, quoting the Halliburton scandal, which involved a US company, he said sharp business practices are not limited to China alone.
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