Give Us Value for Our Patronage, Dogara Tells Chinese Government
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, charged Chinese government to give the required value for projects for which Nigeria has taken huge loans from its country, saying that only then will the high debt profile owed China be justified.
The speaker, who made this statement when he received the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.Zhou pingjian, in the National Assembly, also disclosed that though there have been concerns about the rising profile of debt owed by Nigeria to China, it will all be for good if the assets for which they were acquired are delivered for the benefit of Nigerians.
"There have been concerns about the debt hangover that perhaps we may leave it for generations to come. But I always say that doesn't matter if debt is left for posterity as long as we have the assets on ground," Dogara said, adding that the Chinese government must ensure that "projects are delivered to prevent future generations from losing faith in the relations between Nigeria and China. This is a responsibility we owe to our people and that which you owe to the people of China."
While expressing gratitude for the several support offered to Nigeria, including against the war on terrorism, he also assured the Chinese delegation that the House of Representatives will support the executive's agreement on 'One China'.
The speaker also expressed gratitude to the People's Republic of China for supporting Nigeria's bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Dogara had in August 2015 secured endorsement of the Chinese government for Nigeria to occupy a permanent seat on the UN Security Council when he held bilateral talks with the Speaker of People’s Parliament of China, Mr. Zhang Dejiang in New York, United States of America.
"We will collaborate with the Executive to support policies towards that," he stated.
Dogara also used the occasion of the visit to stress the need for mutual benefits for both countries from their bilateral relations.
He noted that Chinese businesses are thriving and getting support from Nigerian government and asked that more doors be open to Nigerians who do business with China.
The speaker also urged the government of China to explore the Nigeria-China Parliamentary Committee of the House to deepen ties between the parliaments of both countries.