ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
If the Chinese can close their doors and give only a handful of visas to their own country,
then it is high time we shut our doors to their invasion. A reasonable percentage
of our imported materials and goods come from China. What are we exporting to them?
Chinese Invasion of Nigeria
By Alinnnor Arinze
China besides being one of the countries with a huge population has the world longest continuous history. Spanning five millennia, China’s history is colourful and complex. Wars, emperors, invasions, rebellions, revolution, invention, wonderful art, beauty, natural disaster, foreign exploitation, foreign rule, frustration, hope, isolation, opening, renewal and modernization all form a part of China’s history. China’s history will fill your mind with images and insights that intrigue, awe, amaze, and even shock you. China’s history is about her people. History dictates that politics and government will change, and China’s have repeatedly.
One cannot separate Chinas culture from her history. Therefore, to know China and her people, you must know something of her history. But I am not going to bore you with the details here. Mainland China is now one of the largest economic powerhouses in the world. In a few short years after Deng Xiao Ping liberalized the Chinese economy in 1989, China has raced from a Third World country to jostle or position as one of the world most influential economic powers. China with huge reserves is blessed with human and mineral resources with which she can offer affordable products and services at the cheapest level. Many are even confused that they do not know whether to now regard China as a communist enclave or a capitalist. It only remains the truth that they are everywhere and into everything.
I dont think there is a place or sector you will go to now in our nation and not have Chinese presence and domination. Recently, I visited Balogun Market in Lagos, and even saw some hawking their wares there. The ones I saw in Apapa on my way to Tincan area also were hawking. I am not particularly against their presence and their seeing and using the opportunities our people had neglected. But they are helping spoil most of the things here. They are interested in their welfare and not ours. They are the major people pirating peoples works here. They cannot even afford to do most of the stuff they are doing here in their place.
How many of them pay their taxes? How many are with up-to-date papers or resident permits? How easy is it now to secure a Chinese visa? Can a Nigerian do business freely in their place without undue interference by their authorities? Can a Nigerian move freely the way they are doing here in China? What are their authorities doing about the fake and sub-standard goods coming daily from their place? What are their authorities doing about their nationals here who import our registered products and sell? What are they doing about their people here who engage in piracy and duplication of fake works of art? I hope intellectual property rights are respected in their place.
Nigerians are very accommodating. Many nationals come here and are not disturbed, but our people are not given the same opportunity over there. If the Chinese can close their doors and give only a handful of visas to their own country, then it is high time we shut our doors to their invasion. A reasonable percentage of our imported materials and goods come from China. What are we exporting to them? A member of the Chinese trade delegation talked about their direct investment in Nigeria in recent times and it looked huge on paper. How much of our foreign exchange that goes into their economy was not mentioned.
Our manufacturers are crying. Many cannot remain in business because of the influx of the Chinese goods and services. If they really want to contribute to the growth of our economy, what stops them from setting up industries that will employ our youths and manufacture most of those goods here? The ones who have their companies here fill them up with their own people and leave little or no space to employ our youths. The ones they even dare to employ are contract staff of those companies who are sacked at will. Our government should wake up from this deep sleep before the Chinese invasion halt whatever they project for vision 2020 economically.
I read sometime ago and China was listed amongst the countries that are mostly likely to offer bribe to get whatever they desire from foreign public office holders. Does it mean our own office holders have been bought to turn deaf ears and blind eyes to this invasion? We have seen different Chinese trade delegation visit our country. After their visits, every contract given out by the government goes the way of the Chinese companies from railway contracts to other sectors of the economy. I cannot say that they are the best companies around. But maybe their companies are the only ones who bid for such contracts. But how well have they faired with such contracts? Our satellite was launched recently. Who were the brains behind the big project? The Chinese of course. And I believe they are the only capable or qualified hands to do such projects for us. Kudos to them.
One good turn deserves another. Love is not a lopsided affair; you cannot give and not receive, you cannot receive and not give back. We are giving visas and permits to the Chinese nationals who wish to come and do business here. They should reciprocate by making it much easier for our businessmen to procure Chinese visas. They should consider aiding our government curb the menace of counterfeiting and piracy by their nationals who hide under different fronts. They should genuinely help our economy by bringing down their people to come and build industries that will employ our people here, instead of helping close down our industries by their nefarious activities. Nigeria deserves more than what we are getting from the Chinese diplomatic or bilateral relationship. God bless them as they adjust.
Arinze Alinnor is an inspirational public speaker, newspaper columnist, and author of inspirational books. He is based presently in Lagos, Nigeria. He comments on social and human rights issues and other issues concerning life, especially marriage
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The State of African Education (April 200)
Dr Asa Hilliard III speaks on the assault of academia on Africans writing and accounting for their own history.
Dr Hilliard is A teacher, psychologist, and historian.
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Chinua Achebe wins $300,000 Gish prizeBy Philip NwosuMonday, September 27, 2010The author of the epic novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, has emerged winner of the United States Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. The Gish prize, which was established in 1994 by the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize Trust and administered by JPMorgan Chase Bank as trustee, is given annually to a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankinds enjoyment and understanding of life. The prize is worth $300,000. . . . Achebes writings examine African politics and chronicle the ways in which African culture and civilization have survived in the post-colonial world. Some of his acclaimed works include A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1988). [The 80-year-old author has founded a number of magazines for African art, fiction and poetry.] Achebe, who is paralyzed from the waist down due to a 1990 car accident, is currently Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.SunNewsOnline
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posted 12 October 2007