THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF NIGERIA – CHINA BILATERAL RELATIONS

Lambert Chidi Nwachukwu

Abstract


This paper interrogated Nigeria – China bilateral relations. China’s relation with Nigeria has recently become a burning issue. This has to do with China’s seemingly interest or quest to dominate the Nigerian market and economy. Accordingly, scholars and commentators alike have expressed various opinions on the issue without any meaningful conclusions. While some view the relationship as beneficial to China and detrimental to the overall development of Nigeria, others see it as the spring post or opportunity that Nigeria needs to develop and compete in the world market. This study which adopted the political economy approach as its theoretical framework made a meaningful contribution to this all important issue. The paper adopted the secondary sources of data collection from textbooks, journals, newspapers, magazines, government publications, internet materials, and other relevant works related to the study. The study revealed that Nigeria – China bilateral relations have benefited China more than Nigeria and that the engagement is booming but at the expense of the Nigerian state. Overall, Chinese engagement with Nigeria is better for the Chinese than it is for Nigeria. This according to the study is evident in the fact that the balance of trade has remained in favour of China beginning from the era of informal ties till date. While Nigeria is in fact benefiting, the country seems to be merely riding the coattails of the Chinese who are making the most money. Accordingly, the paper argues that Nigeria must do more than sell oil or depend on China for trade guarantees. Nigeria should as a matter of urgency and necessity use her ongoing bilateral ties to leverage on the Chinese success and adapt the lessons to her own circumstances. The relationship must add to the basis for long term investment in education, research and technology. The implication here is that Nigeria must improve on governance and democracy in the country so as to be in a better position to identify and pursue policies that will readily respond to emerging changes and trends in its engagement with China and in economic relationships around the globe.  


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