Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Chinese President Xi Jinping presided Wednesday over the signing of accords between their governments to facilitate $1.1 billion in low-interest loans for much-needed infrastructure in Nigeria.
China, which is increasingly looking to Africa for oil and other natural resources, is offering Nigeria loans to help fund airport terminals in four cities, roads, a light-rail line for its capital, a hydropower plant and oil and gas infrastructure.
Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says the loans being finalized during this trip are part of $3 billion approved by China at interest rates of less than 3 percent. Chinese companies are already building roads across Nigeria in contracts worth $1.7 billion.
China’s demand for crude oil produced in Nigeria is expected to risetenfold to 200,000 barrels a day by 2015, according to information provided by a team accompanying the Nigerian president.
On Thursday, Jonathan will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and representatives of companies including state oil company Sinopec and telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE.
President Jonathan arrived to China on Tuesday to hold four-days bilateral talks with the President of China.