China, Amaechi Debunk Claim That Clause In Railway Loan Contract Cedes Nigeria’s Sovereignty To Beijing

Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi

SAN FRANCISCO, August 03, (THEWILL) – The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi have both denied the claim that a clause in the railway loan contracts between Nigeria and China cedes Nigeria’s sovereignty to the Chinese. The claim was made by members of the House of Representatives during a hearing last week.

Following the uproar and controversy that greeted the claim, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a statement Monday said: “We follow a ‘five-no’ approach in our relations with Africa: “No interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs; no imposition of our will on African countries;

“No attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa,” the ministry quoted President Xi Jinping, as saying at the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018.

“China is committed to enhancing investment and financial cooperation with African countries based on their needs to help them improve infrastructure and extradite socio-economic development.

“By funding infrastructure and other areas that lag behind for short of money, we have helped the relevant countries break bottlenecks, enhance their capacity for independent development, realise social and economic sustainable development, and improve people’s livelihood.

“Such cooperation has delivered tangible benefits to African countries and peoples.

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“In the process, China always gives full consideration to debt sustainability and seeks mutually-acceptable proposals through equal and friendly consultations.

“That is the fundamental reason behind the enormous popularity of China-Africa cooperation in Africa.”

Amaechi had also during an appearance on a public affairs programme on television explained that ‘waiving sovereignty’ as included in the loan contract is more like a sovereign guarantee, a standard procedure in contracting to ensure that Nigeria pays back the loan. He added that Nigeria has the capacity to pay that the loans used to fund rail projects within the 20-year timeline.