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Published 1st August 2013

Vol 6 (AAC) No 10


Diminishing returns in Beijing

The President returned from his July trip with US$1.1 bn. in loans and promises of new projects – but it’s far less than the $3 bn. his goverment had targeted

President Goodluck Jonathan’s state visit to China delivered much-needed finance for infrastructure projects but the final amount was rather less than his officials had originally envisaged. Ahead of the President’s 8-12 July visit, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced that new financing deals worth US$3 billion were on the table. She elaborated with details of generous interest rates and long repayment periods: under 3% over 15 to 20 years. ‘They want more oil and gas,’ she explained. ‘We have something they want now and they have something we want, so you have grounds for negotiations.’ Upon Jonathan’s return, however, the government announced that the President had signed new loans worth just $1.1 bn. for projects including four airport terminals, roads and a hydroelectric plant. No explanation was offered for the difference.


How the big projects fell short

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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