Nigerian president’s China trip most successful in economic terms: expert

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent visit to China can be considered as the most successful and profitable given what he has gained in terms of economy, a Nigerian financial expert said Friday.

President Buhari in China
President Buhari in China

In an interview with Xinhua, Johnson Chukwu, chief executive officer of Cowry Asset Management Limited, a Nigerian financial advisory and research firm, said that while Buhari’s other foreign trips might have gained political attention, his trip to China has yielded fruitful results for Nigeria-China ties and regional cooperation in terms of economy.

The visit provided an opportunity for the Nigerian leader to seek development assistance, promote infrastructure development, and attract investment from the Asian country, the financial expert said.

China is Nigeria’s largest import partner, he said, adding that Nigeria has maintained a deep and strong relationship with China through many administrations.

Chukuwu said the currency swap deal on yuan transactions, signed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and the Central Bank of Nigeria, would help boost bilateral trade.

The currency swap agreement, he added, would allow Nigerian banks to issue letters of credit in yuan in place of the U.S. dollar.

“We have a lot of machinery and equipment from China apart from consumer goods,” he said, adding that the deal would help businessmen “have the access to another foreign currency — the yuan — to bring in the goods.”

According to the expert, about 22 percent of Nigeria’s exports will be settled in the yuan instead of the U.S dollar, which will “relieve the country of much pressure on foreign reserves at this time,” he added.

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