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HomeNational NewsNigeria not a battleground for America, China - Blinken

Nigeria not a battleground for America, China – Blinken

U.S. says it wants to create African-led solutions to any of the challenges the continent faces.

United States’ Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, says America’s engagement with Nigeria and the African continent has nothing to do with the growing influence of China.

The Asian country has emerged as a world power, and perceived as a threat to the storied dominance of America in global affairs.

China’s engagement with Africa, especially with mouth-watering loan deals granted to many countries, has raised eyebrows in the global community about its intent.

Blinken however said at a media briefing in Nigeria on Thursday, November 18, 2021, that the U.S. is not looking over its shoulder as to how China’s emergence affects its own African interests.

He said the U.S. is only concerned about ensuring that investments in Africa help to create African-led solutions to any of the challenges the continent faces.

“On one level, if there’s investment or trade coming into Africa or with Africa from anywhere else, including China, in principle that’s a great thing,” he said.

Blinken did mention that the U.S. wants to ensure African countries are not burdened with tremendous debt that they can’t repay, a concern that’s been raised with the loans China has disbursed to the continent.

Nigeria is one of such countries whose debt profile has ballooned in recent years, with China one of its most notable lenders.

But the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, at Thursday’s joint briefing repeated President Muhammadu Buhari‘s stand that the debt is sustainable.

“We don’t just borrow willy-nilly, and in fact, in reality, our debt-to-GDP ratio is still actually very good. So it’s sustainable debt,” he said.

He also dismissed the tension of the U.S.-China rivalry in Africa, comparing Nigeria to an ‘attractive bride’ that everybody is ‘offering wonderful things’.

“So you take what you can from each of them,” the minister said.

But he stressed that it’s ultimately about Nigeria’s interests, and not about U.S. interests or Chinese interests.

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Olafare Michael Oluwabukola
A Nationa Diploma holder in Computer Science at LENS POLYTECHNIC Offa, a full-time blogger, beatmaker, modern graphics designer, talent manager, and a vocalist


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