Nigeria-China Relations under President Muhammadu Buhari with Particular Reference to “Financial Aids”

By: Saleh Dauda, PhD, Adie, Edward Idagu, Nwokedi, Lawretta Obiageli


Mutual benefits in forms of trade, technological and infrastructural developments, military cooperation and alliance, sustainable peace and security, financial aids and the likes have driven many nation states to engage one another in relationships. The same applies to Nigeria- China relations in which since the establishment of diplomatic relationship in 1971 both countries have strived to explore available avenues to benefit from each other. With this in mind, the study looked deeper into the Nigeria–China Relations under President Muhammadu Buahri with particular reference to “financial aids” to Nigeria. It utilized the secondary source of data collection from textbooks, research articles, journal publications and other online material relating to the subject matter. The dependency theory was adopted to analyze Nigeria’s dependence on China aids for infrastructural development. The research also used content analysis for data analysis. The findings revealed that Nigeria has leveraged on China’s financial   aids such as interest free loans and concessional loans to finance her several infrastructural developments. These include the West Africa’s first Urban rail system valued at $500million in Abuja; the 180km rail line connecting Abuja and Kaduna which was commissioned in 2016. While others like upgrading of airport terminals, the Lagos-Kano rail line, the Zungeru hydroelectric power project, and the Fibre Cable for the internet infrastructure are at various stages of completion. The study also found that the amount of debt accrued from the free interest loans and concessional loans to Nigeria has became a thing of great concerns to many Nigerians as it is estimated that every Nigerian is owing Chinese #15,000. Finally, recommendations were made based on the findings, and they include followings: Nigeria should review her policy stance regarding financial aids especially, from China to forestall the looming danger of debt trap; Except where necessary Nigerian government should avoid incessant borrowing so that the citizens’ future will not be mortgaged; Constant servicing of existing debt is another way of preventing debt accumulation. Nigeria should imbibe the practice; Any loan collected be it interest free loan or concessional loan from China should be utilized accordingly without diversion and; Nigerian government should avoid overdependence on China for all her developmental needs rather there should be a deliberate effort to start small by harnessing the local resources and potentials for national development.

Key Words: Nigeria-China Relations, Financial Aids, Interest Free Loans Grants, Concessional Loans, Debt Trap

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About the Authors:

  • Saleh Dauda, PhD- Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, Nigeria
  • Adie, Edward Idagu- Correspondent Author, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, Nigeria. E-mail:
  • Nwokedi, Lawretta Obiageli- Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, Nigeria.