A massive rail deal will give the China Railway Construction Corporation a license to build a 870-mile railroad across the African nation of Nigeria.
The $12-billion deal is the biggest overseas contract in Chinese history and it gives Chinese firms an even bigger foothold in Africa (where they already have a significant amount of investment).
The contract seeks to link the cities of Calabar and Lagos.
But this project isn’t without some concerns though.
Many locals see this project as something akin to another form of colonialism.
There are also concerns over the environmental impact of the project and it remains unclear how the project will be overseen and what regulations will be followed.
The former governor of Nigeria’s central bank Lamido Sanusi wrote late last year that: “China takes our primary goods and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism. The British went to Africa and India to secure raw materials and markets. Africa is now willingly opening itself up to a new form of imperialism.”
Overall the rail push, while providing China much needed economic hope, is also yet to be looked at so favorably by many in Africa itself.