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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hu´s visit to Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) 27/04/2006

Chinese President Hu Jintao said yesterday his government will seek much closer ties with Africa a resource-rich frontier of opportunity for the world’s fastest growing economy after signing oil and other agreements with Nigeria and granting the West African giant an aid package.
Hu, on the second and final day of his visit to Nigeria, addressed the country’s parliament on China’s relations with Africa.
“Africa has rich resources and market potentials, whereas China has available effective practices and practical know-how it has gained in the course of modernisation,” Hu said.
China is seeking “a strategic partnership” with the continent that would improve living standards for Africa, he said. China’s interest and growing profile has worried Western rivals among them countries who may feel their colonial ties should give them an advantage for Africa’s resources and markets. And some Africans have complained about being flooded with cheap Chinese goods.
“China’s development will not pose a threat to anyone. On the contrary, it will bring more development opportunities to the world,” Hu told Nigeria’s parliament.
The world’s most populous country, with 1.3 billion people, has also set new development targets to increase its gross domestic product and lower energy consumption, the Chinese leader said. “By the year 2020 ... GDP would quadruple that of 2000 to reach $4 trillion, averaging $3,000 per head,” Hu said.
China’s economy is growing so fast, its leaders have taken steps to avoid inflation or ballooning bad loans. Growth hit 10.2 per cent in the first quarter, and China is hungry for the energy, timber, minerals and other raw materials Africa can provide.
During the first day of the visit, Hu and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo presided over the signing of a string of agreements covering cooperation in energy, telecommunications, infrastructure development and health.
One agreement requires Nigeria’s Petroleum Ministry to give China’s state oil firm preferential access to oil blocks in return for a Chinese undertaking to take over a loss-making refinery in the northern city of Kaduna.
Under other deals, Chinese firms will build a hydroelectric power station in the northeastern Mambilla plateau and a high-speed rail system linking the Nigerian capital Abuja with the economic capital, Lagos.
Two Chinese telecommunication firms, Huawei Technologies and ZTE, will execute large contracts for rural telephone service across Nigeria with the help of concessionary loans from the Chinese government worth more than $200 million (161 million euros).



:cheers: i love that news
 

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Wow, that is some pretty remarkable information. Do they have any renders on this project? Oh, yeah, Matthias, by the way, where in Germany do you live?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yes, that would be great to see some renders but searching for renders on Chinese website will be in vain. I was trying to do it for Angola but quickly had to give it up.
 

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hmmm...seems that China is trying to be as buddy buddy as they can to secure cheaper oil or just better deals...all the while finding a place to use their companies to build. Do yoy know that when chinese companies do work in another country they bring in all their own workers from china and do not use locals? that is what is happening in SA and is giving them a very bad reputation and causing tension between the governments
 

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This is all very positive..Africa needs more investment anyway it can get it. Hopefully they will release some renders of that rail project soon.

dysan1 wrote:
Do yoy know that when chinese companies do work in another country they bring in all their own workers from china and do not use locals?
I also heard that the Chinese bring their own workers because there is a lack of capacity and skills in some African countries especially on big projects. Usually those Chinese workers would train locals along the way as the project progresses and that is supposed to help these poorer nations develope a class of experienced engnieers (at least that is how it is supposed to work in theory).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
skipperbill,

no it has nothing to do with skill but beleive it or not it is about wages. Chinese workers are CHEAPER AND MORE EASILY EXPLOITABLE than African or Nigerian workers in this case. It is really weird.
 

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Chinese workers are CHEAPER AND MORE EASILY EXPLOITABLE than African or Nigerian workers in this case
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If the Chinese workers all the way fly to Africa, with accomdation and other allowance, is still cheaper than local, the local should really think about that. What I heard was Skipper's version. It is impossible not to hire locals in Africa for that kind of construction projects like building a railway. However, if it is for a highly technical project like telecommunication, it is possible as it take long time to train the technicians needed, and time is money. Chinese companies will only bring their workers when the locals are more expensive, like in the Middle East, where local people generally do not like that kind of job.
 

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Matthias Offodile said:
skipperbill,

no it has nothing to do with skill but beleive it or not it is about wages. Chinese workers are CHEAPER AND MORE EASILY EXPLOITABLE than African or Nigerian workers in this case. It is really weird.
SKILL MATTER SINCE WITHOUT SKILL NO MATTER HOW CHEAP A WORKER HE/SHE WON'T GET THE JOB DONE! If the local worker can get the job then he/she will be hired or else China will bring foreing worker. For example, China has a lot of expensive foreign workers that bring technology, know-how and managament skill to teach the local. Skill first, price second if you want a project to succeed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
AlexS2000, that is partly true..... but as I have many contacts in Nigeria I can also judge the matters more closely. And I can tell you that Chinese workers get a fraction of that Nigerian workers earn. and those workers who are shipped from China to Africa I would greatly doubt if they are really "skilled". ( I am not talking about the engineering who conceptualize those projects) The works done by "simple blue collar workers" can easily be done by Nigerian, Algerian or whoever. There are a lot of skilled people in Nigeria...and not just some "black faces" who jumps around in banana skirts chanting "voodoo songs". (a picture that was once depicted by Joseph Conrad´s novel "Heart of Darkness" and which has still survived in the minds of people as Western media invariably revels in portraying those images on the continent). For example, social housing in Algeria is entirely built by Chinese workers! Come on, those works can be done by Algerians themselves but Algerian workers are far more demanding and costly than Chinese workers. This is the main point. COST COUNTS NOWADAYS
 

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I have a question to Matthias Offodile, why the local workers are more expensive than the Chinese workers ? It is no surprise that workers in developed countries are more expensive than Chinese workers, but African countries are just like China, they are developing countries too. If blue collar worker in those developing countries earn several times more than the Chinese workers, they are in fact being paid at the same level as workers in developed countries, which is a little bit weird. How the economy system in those countries works ? In China, everything is in fact very cheap and even a low income worker can have a quite decent living, how is the price of the daily necessity goods in African countries ? Are they also at the price tag of the developed countries ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Baersworth, of course they do not earn several times more than Chinese workers but if A Nigerian worker gets a meagre 1.5$ and hour for instance, the Chinese worker will do it for half the price. So he is cheaper! Chinese workers are not organized in unions like Nigerian workers are. They are all herded together onto lorries in the early morning hours, zealously work from morning till dusk and are then calmly transported back to their makeshift "camps". They never voice their discontent as opposed to Nigerian workers who can get pretty nasty when they feel mistreated. ...which is in turn not good for the contractor and the on-time completion of projects.
are you sure that a low income worker can have quite a good living in China? What do you mean by having "a good living"! If you mean that he owns a motorbike/a crumpy car, a TV-Set, swallows down a hot meal per day, has a DVD and/or a radio. That is the same for an ordinary Nigerian worker (as they get the electronic stuff from China which makes the stuff really affordable for the masses nowadays) but that is not what I define as a having a good living. these are basics, to my mind.
Prices of daily necessity goods varies whether you buy them on open markets, grow vegetable on your own or head for the well-packed supermakets.
Economies in Africa are principally informal. Nigeria´s GDP amounts to someting around 80$ billion dollars (little less than that)...but the bulk of the economic figures are not represented in those numbers. You can open a good company and this company is not listed anywhere (no taxes). the informal sector is that what makes Nigera tick economically. If you add these figure to the country´s GDP, it would be twice or even thrice as high. ( I am not exagerating, I read the latter in several serious journals)
 

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Matthias Offodile said:
AlexS2000, that is partly true..... but as I have many contacts in Nigeria I can also judge the matters more closely. And I can tell you that Chinese workers get a fraction of that Nigerian workers earn. and those workers who are shipped from China to Africa I would greatly doubt if they are really "skilled". ( I am not talking about the engineering who conceptualize those projects) The works done by "simple blue collar workers" can easily be done by Nigerian, Algerian or whoever. There are a lot of skilled people in Nigeria...and not just some "black faces" who jumps around in banana skirts chanting "voodoo songs". (a picture that was once depicted by Joseph Conrad´s novel "Heart of Darkness" and which has still survived in the minds of people as Western media invariably revels in portraying those images on the continent). For example, social housing in Algeria is entirely built by Chinese workers! Come on, those works can be done by Algerians themselves but Algerian workers are far more demanding and costly than Chinese workers. This is the main point. COST COUNTS NOWADAYS
Hi Matthias

What you are saying is that Chinese company are taking job away from Algerian. I don't think that the Chinese companies that are building the railroad and housing for the Algerian people are meant to harm them.
I guess that China should stop any more buiding and work in Africa so the local companies and people can have job then.
 

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Well its all good what u say...but in theory they are exploiting a country. We have the skill for the jobs here, but they will only use their own workers for they cost less to them...but legally they are being challenged in court now, for paying under the SA minimun wage and for anti competitive procedures
 

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No, but they should employ a higher percentage of local workers! That is essentially important for long-term acceptance
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Agree. But I guess for non skill worker in any country can only earn for the very basis of living standard, before the country is rich and well developed, a welfare state is an illusion and will in fact prevent the country from further development. No doubt Chinese worker will be more hard working, Chinese generally are willing to work very hard in order to save money for their plan tomorrow, and that is why China is moving fast in its development. Everything has a cost as well development, only when people are willing to pay for the cost (by working hard) today they will have a better living in the future. Chinese People do know hard working today means better living tomorrow and they will be more than willing to work hard instead of complaining. For the Chinese company who use Chinese worker, I believe the contract for the project should have stated clearly about the arrangement. The costs for the workers will be one of the consideration for the price, if the local goverment requires the Chinese company to employ certain percentage of local worker, it will be reflected in the price, if the local worker are more expensive in real terms. It is then a compromise as to whether the local government wants an infra structure project be completed in a shorter time with a lower price, or to prefer a better local employment rate but pay more for the project or sometime have to delay the completion. It is a decision for the local goverment to make and to decide which option is in fact better for their country.
 

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Matthias Offodile said:
skipperbill,

no it has nothing to do with skill but beleive it or not it is about wages. Chinese workers are CHEAPER AND MORE EASILY EXPLOITABLE than African or Nigerian workers in this case. It is really weird.
Easily organized Chinese workers and highly efficiecy in finishing projects were main reason for chinese company to hire Chinese workers. Most Chinese workers could obtain subsidies after they return back to China. However, Training African workers will add extra responsibility to Chinese companies unless African government signed agreement with Chinese companies which mentioned training local workers. Because of all projects designed and built by Chinese, communication might be problematic too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Muchbetter, you´ve really got the point in your analisis! Sooner or later Chinese companies will have to train (where necessary) and employ the locals from South Africa to Algeria and beyond!!! Otherwise they might run into very serious diffculties ...just what Dysan1 pointed out above for the South African case! People in Africa want to have partners and not just herd that invade countries!

But I am sure that as far as the train project in Nigeria is concened THEY WILL HAVE TO EMPLOY LOCALS OTHERWISE THE PROJECTS WILL NEVER TAKE OFF
 
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