Former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, has condemned the Nigerian Government for engaging the Chinese in the infrastructural development of the country.
Duke disclosed this on Saturday at an event to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.
Chinese companies are presently involved in multiple projects across the Nigeria, comprising the construction of airport terminals, roads and rails including inner-city light rails in Abuja and Lagos.
Some of the projects include a $600m project for four international airport terminals.
Construction of the three major rail lines being built across the country.
They are Lagos-Kano (with another line from Kaduna to Abuja), Lagos-Calabar rail and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail, whose costs are put at $9bn, $11bn and $15bn, respectively.
Also the 156km Lagos-Ibadan railway stretch was awarded initially at $1.5bn to a Chinese company in 2016 by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Additional $500m was later approved by the Buhari’s government for the procurement of locomotives and other rolling stocks for the new line.
Reacting to the development, Duke said, “As long as we continue to outsource our development, we will never gain the confidence to develop our nation. It has to be developed by ourselves. We can talk of rail lines, we are bringing the Chinese to develop the world for us, well, you are outsourcing.
“We need to take it head-on, be prepared to make the mistakes, build those rail lines, build the things that you required.”
“We talk more of investment in infrastructure than skills and that ought not to be and the skills also should involve technology.”