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Nigeria: Transportation minister favours Chinese contractors to local ones

By Eric Olander
Posted on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 11:40

Current transportation minister Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria's outspoken transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi delivered a blunt message to local construction companies who've long complained that they're shut out of bids for the large infrastructure projects that often go to Chinese contractors: "We are not using our local contractors because they are not qualified. If you want to participate, build capacity. We can't give you a life-threatening contract if we don’t trust your capacity."

The minister went on to explain that in order to win a federal government building contract, a company must be able to demonstrate five years of experience in the relevant field, an obstacle that most Nigerian construction firms have struggled to overcome.

Nigerian construction companies are by no means alone in complaining about the advantages that are afforded to Chinese competitors. Politicians and local contractors in Namibia have expressed similar frustrations about the insurance and experience requirements that prevent local firms from bidding on projects.

Other China-Africa infrastructure headlines

  • Zambia: Chinese contractors have completed 90% of the work on the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the Zambian capital Lusaka.
  • Kenya: Work by the China Road and Bridge Corporation on the new 27km Nairobi Expressway is now 60% complete and scheduled to be finished next February, six months ahead of schedule, according to Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.
  • Egypyt: The Chinese-built trains that will be used as part of a new 90km light rail network that will connect to the new capital outside of Cairo are scheduled to arrive early next month.

This article was first published in The China Africa Project. 

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