Lagos, 8 April 2022 (TDI): The Zungeru Hydropower Station, is the largest power station in Nigeria built by China, started its operations. Zungeru program does not only provide a steady power supply but also creates more than 4,000 jobs during its construction.
THE ZUNGERU HYDROPOWER STATION PROJECT
The Zungeru Hydropower Station project is a 700MW hydroelectric facility located in the Niger State of Nigeria. The project has been built to generate 2.64 billion kWh of electricity a year, which will meet close to 10% of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs. Additionally, the project also intends to provide flood control, irrigation, as well as water supply, and fish breeding facilities to nearby communities.
This program not only supply stable electricity but also created over 4,000 jobs during the construction period. pic.twitter.com/YPyB9z7nqJ
— 吴鹏 Wu Peng (@WuPeng_MFAChina) April 2, 2022
Regarding the cost of the Zungeru Hydropower Station project, there were estimations that it was 1.3 billion dollars; and its construction was started in May 2013. The Exim Bank of China provided preferential buyer’s credit covering 75% of the project cost, while the Federal Government of Nigeria funded the remaining 25% cost.
CHINA’S INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which has promoted it to embark on various infrastructure projects across the country. Modern infrastructure includes roads, bridges, airports, seaports, railways, power plants, DAMS, telecommunications, and more.
The level, quality, and standard of a country’s infrastructure are the core indicators of its development or progress rating. This feature has offered Nigeria a great chance to benefit a lot from a number of the Belt and Road projects.
Before the Hydropower station, China had already a presence in the country due to its funds for other projects. These other projects contributed to local development, like the Lagos/Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Line linking Lagos to Ibadan.
Lagos is Nigeria´s economic capital, and Ibadan is the former administrative capital of southwestern Nigeria. Another project is the Lagos/Kano railway, which aims at connecting the two most populous cities in southern and northern Nigeria. The final example of the Chinese investment project is the new international airport terminals in Abuja.
OVERVIEW OF THE SINO-NIGERIAN RELATIONSHIP
After 10 years when Nigeria gained its independence from Britain, both formally established a bilateral diplomatic relationship in 1971. Since then, the two countries have maintained and strengthened a good trade relationship. Moreover, the first African country that China designated as a strategic partner was Nigeria.
In 2018, Nigeria became a signatory to China’s International infrastructure development plan under the Belt and Road Initiative. Both countries expanded their investment cooperation with the support of international mechanisms related to the Belt and Road Initiative. According to the 2019 report released by the Chinese Embassy; Nigeria is home to 70 construction companies, 40 investment companies, and 30 trading companies owned by Chinese stakeholders.
In 2020, with the negative impact caused by COVID-19; the trade volume between the two countries was still better than the previous year. Nigeria’s exports to China were US$1.77 Billion in 2020, and China’s exports to Nigeria were US$16.78 billion.