Chinese influence is growing very rapidly in Africa. But that influence is coming with a price – overdependence on loans.

In fact, the increasing Chinese debt on the continent has made some argue that China is paying for Africa in installment in form of loans.

Nigeria is prominent in the Chinese loan book and one of President Buhari’s challengers in the forthcoming Presidential election, Donald Duke is quite unhappy with the situation.

Duke, who is the Social Democratic Party, SDP presidential flag bearer, expressed concern over the growing indebtedness of the nation to China and other countries, stating that Nigeria is bleeding.

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The former Cross River State governor believes, the government needs to indigenise the economy.

He argued that while the Federal Government was taking foreign loans because the interest rates were low, the government could regulate bank rates in the country to make credit cheaper and affordable for entrepreneurs to grow the economy.

Addressing journalists at the SDP headquarters in Abuja on Monday, Duke pointed out that the about 30% interest being charged on loans made it hard for businesses to grow and generate employment.

He said, “Indebtedness to any nation is worrisome, not just China. The concept of independence is being able to stand on your own; you are not independent if you are indebted to other nations. We need to strengthen our own local trade and when you trade, there should be a balance.

“You cannot always import without exporting; you cannot always breathe in without breathing out, that’s the law of nature; there must be harmony. If you keep on importing and you are not exporting to have a balance of trade, then your country will haemorrhage; we are haemorrhaging.”

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