292 Views

Nigerians Look East To China For Business, Opportunity

Emmanuel Iyayi’s love of China, its culture and language began early when he watched kung fu films as a child in his native Nigeria. Now 26, that enthusiasm has paid off.

“I am a translator, an interpreter for Nigerian and Chinese businessmen and I also compere at Chinese events,” Iyayi, who also goes by the Chinese name Kong Yi, told AFP.

“All these generate good money for me. I am happy with the pay I get and this has transformed my life tremendously.”

Iyayi isn’t alone in being able to reap the benefits of knowing a language that few of his compatriots speak, given Nigeria’s historic preference for learning European tongues such as French.

Grace Moses teaches and translates Mandarin when she is not studying in her final year at the Confucius Institute at the University of Lagos (Unilag).

“I get a lot of job opportunities from Nigerians who have businesses with Chinese people,” said the 25-year-old, likening herself to a go-between for local and Chinese businesses.

Iyayi and Moses could soon have competition, however, as a new scheme gets under way in Lagos state to teach Mandarin in primary and secondary schools.

The move comes at a time of increased investment by Chinese firms in Nigeria, which is in desperate need of overseas cash because of the fall in global oil revenues on which its economy depends.

– Closer ties –

On a sunny afternoon at Unilag, Moses — or Li Minghao as she is also known in class — sits with a dozen other Nigerian students, most of them women.

Mandarin teacher Fu Yongsheng uses audio-visual aids to teach pronunciation, words and phrases at the institute, set up seven years ago in partnership with the Beijing Institute of Technology.

Fu and seven others also teach Mandarin to some 1,700 primary and secondary students across Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Yongjin Wang, the director of the institute, said more teachers were needed and is convinced learning Mandarin “can help to enhance relations and communications between both countries”.

Segun Awonusi, Yongjin’s Nigerian co-director and a linguistics professor at Unilag, said learning Mandarin makes sense because of the Asian giant’s economic and political clout.

There are more Mandarin speakers than any other language in the world, making knowledge of the language essential for greater economic and diplomatic cooperation in the future, he added.

“Nigeria has also also opened a wide market for the Chinese,” added Awonusi.

“There are efforts to build a generation of Nigerians who can teach Chinese,” he said.

ALSO READ  18 Things Nigerians Should Expect in 2016 Under Buhari's Government - Governor Fayose

Some three dozen Nigerians are currently studying for language and culture degrees at Chinese universities while a second Confucius Institute has been opened in southeast Nigeria.

Lagos has five pilot project schools where Mandarin is taught.

“Learning of Chinese language… aims to enhance political and economic ties between Nigeria and those countries,” according to the Lagos state ministry of education.

– Two-way street –

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari visited China recently and came away with a $6 billion pledge to fund much-needed infrastructure projects across the country.

Abuja is looking to deepen economic and political relations with Beijing, building on the $1.79 billion China invested in Nigeria last year.

Trade volume has grown from less than $2 billion at the turn of the century to about $15 billion in 2015, according to government figures.

There are currently more than 200 Chinese companies working in engineering, food, agriculture, railway and road sectors, according to China’s consul-general, Liu Kan.

China is also present in Nigeria’s key oil and gas and power sectors, aviation, merchandising, information technology manufacturing, healthcare, textile and transport.

The China Railway Corporation and China Civil Construction Corporation are handling multi-million-dollar railway and road construction in Lagos, Abuja and other cities.

Buhari, however, complained about a large trade imbalance between the two countries in China’s favour by some 80 percent to 20 percent.

“You must not see Nigeria as a consumer market alone but as an investment destination where goods can be manufactured and consumed locally,” he said.

– Image problem –

Despite its sizeable investment, China has nonetheless room to improve its image in Nigeria, where the country is often associated with the dumping of inferior and even counterfeit products.

Nigeria’s health authorities have previously said some 70 percent of drugs in Nigeria were fake or adulterated and pointed accusing fingers at imports from China and India.

Customs officials have also repeatedly raided and shut illegal textile importers in Kano and Lagos’ China Town, a sprawling shopping complex, over the alleged failure to pay relevant duties.

Initiatives such as the Confucius Institute, which is similar to the British Council, Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institute, can help dispel myths and misunderstandings.

“After these sanctions, we have held several meetings with Chinese importers and we have intensified our intelligence and monitoring,” Customs spokesman Wale Adeniyi told AFP.

“Certainly the importation of substandard goods from China has reduced drastically.”

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Posts

Why Nigeria Cannot Win The World Cup – Former Arsenal Coach, Arsene Wenger
Sports
52 views
Sports
52 views

Why Nigeria Cannot Win The World Cup – Former Arsenal Coach, Arsene Wenger

MT - June 23, 2018

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given two reasons why Nigeria will find it difficult winning the 2018 World Cup and this has nothing to do with…

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Agreeing to Marry Him
Romance and Love
56 views
Romance and Love
56 views

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Agreeing to Marry Him

PH - June 23, 2018

Before saying the words “I do”, which would plunge you into a lifelong commitment, there are a lot of things you should already know about your partner.…

7 Signs Delivery Day Is Around The Corner
Food and Health
51 views
Food and Health
51 views

7 Signs Delivery Day Is Around The Corner

PH - June 23, 2018

Towards the end of pregnancy, anticipation is at its peak and expectant mothers are on the lookout for any sign of the delivery day. For the first-timers,…

Nigerian Writer, Anietie Isong Shortlisted For UK’s Biggest Literary Prize Fund
Art, History and Culture
57 views
Art, History and Culture
57 views

Nigerian Writer, Anietie Isong Shortlisted For UK’s Biggest Literary Prize Fund

PH - June 23, 2018

Anietie Isong, a Nigerian writer, is among those in the running to benefit from the UK’s biggest literary fund of more than £98,000. The Society of Authors…

Corps Member Wins $2,500 Afriture Painting Competition
Art, History and Culture
52 views
Art, History and Culture
52 views

Corps Member Wins $2,500 Afriture Painting Competition

PH - June 23, 2018

Julius Agbaje, a 26-year-old National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, has won the 2018 Afriture Painting Competition. Our correspondent reports that Agbaje, who is serving with Silverbird…

Aremu Afolayan: It Is Impossible To Own A House In Lekki Through Acting Only
Entertainment
61 views
Entertainment
61 views

Aremu Afolayan: It Is Impossible To Own A House In Lekki Through Acting Only

PH - June 23, 2018

Is Aremu Afolayan trying to convey something? He has just stated that it is almost impossible for actors and actresses who has their only income from making…

Nobel laureate Soyinka Reproaches Obasanjo, As He Calls Him An Hypocrite
Politics
69 views
Politics
69 views

Nobel laureate Soyinka Reproaches Obasanjo, As He Calls Him An Hypocrite

PH - June 23, 2018

Soyinka reproaches Nigeria's former president as he calls him an hypocritical leader whose only ambition is to pleas himself. He has also  threatened to release a book…

Victor Osuagwu Gives Reason For Using A Truck As Wedding Vehicle
Entertainment
72 views
Entertainment
72 views

Victor Osuagwu Gives Reason For Using A Truck As Wedding Vehicle

PH - June 23, 2018

Guess life is not really about caring about what others might say or do, but about achieving your goals in the way you can without hurting anyone.…

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe Arrested In Stead Of Nnamdi Kanu Over Bail Bond Issues
Politics
78 views
Politics
78 views

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe Arrested In Stead Of Nnamdi Kanu Over Bail Bond Issues

PH - June 23, 2018

The senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was apprehended by the Department of State Services (DSS), on Friday. Operatives of the DSS accosted the…

The Race Of Christianity In Nigeria Said To Go Extinct In Next 25 Years
Religion
95 views
Religion
95 views

The Race Of Christianity In Nigeria Said To Go Extinct In Next 25 Years

PH - June 23, 2018

Can the race of Christianity really ceases in this world? not to talk of ceasing in Nigeria, a nation well known for its religious beliefs. But there…

4 Non-Executives Appointed By Buhari For Central Bank Of Nigeria
Politics
117 views
Politics
117 views

4 Non-Executives Appointed By Buhari For Central Bank Of Nigeria

PH - June 22, 2018

On Friday, the appointments of four non-executive directors approved by President Muhammadu Buhari were for the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Permanent Secretary (General Services Office), Office of…

Oyo Female Gov. Aspirant, Bolanle Aliyu, Seeks Alaafin’s Blessing For 2019 Election
Politics
101 views
Politics
101 views

Oyo Female Gov. Aspirant, Bolanle Aliyu, Seeks Alaafin’s Blessing For 2019 Election

PH - June 22, 2018

Oyo State gets female aspirant running for governorship in 2019 as she seeks the Alaafin's blessing for her intention. The Oyo State female governorship aspirant, Bolanle Aliyu,…

Dayo Amusa Shows Discontent On Disrespect From Newbies In The Industry
Entertainment
108 views
Entertainment
108 views

Dayo Amusa Shows Discontent On Disrespect From Newbies In The Industry

PH - June 22, 2018

Nollywood actress Dayo Amusa has shown her discontent with where the movie industry is heading The actress took to her Instagram page to address the way newbies…

Mikel Obi Assured, Says Nigeria Will Push Through Even With The Poor Start
Sports
121 views
Sports
121 views

Mikel Obi Assured, Says Nigeria Will Push Through Even With The Poor Start

PH - June 22, 2018

Team captain John Obi Mikel assures Nigeria will reach the knockout phase of the World Cup despite their unimpressive start. Even after being defeated in the last match,…

Kwara State Government Grants N125m To Tertiary Institution After Going On Strike
Education
119 views
Education
119 views

Kwara State Government Grants N125m To Tertiary Institution After Going On Strike

PH - June 22, 2018

Mr. Abdullahi Alkinla, the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, disclosed in a statement released on Thursday in Ilorin that the Kwara state government has released a sum of…

Agricultural Export Rises 24% In 3 Months
Agriculture and Farming
97 views
Agriculture and Farming
97 views

Agricultural Export Rises 24% In 3 Months

PH - June 22, 2018

Nigeria has seen its 2018 first quarter agricultural export risen by 24 percent as the country explore opportunities to earn substantial dollars through the non-oil export. The…

See Reasons Why Ministers Say Buhari Deserves To Be Re-elected
Politics
87 views
Politics
87 views

See Reasons Why Ministers Say Buhari Deserves To Be Re-elected

PH - June 22, 2018

On Thursday in Abuja, some of the cabinet ministers gathered to say, "President Muhammadu Buhari deserves to be re-elected to build on the development foundation he laid…

Free Deworming Drugs Distributed To Inmates In Nasarawa
Food and Health
116 views
Food and Health
116 views

Free Deworming Drugs Distributed To Inmates In Nasarawa

PH - June 22, 2018

Deworming drugs were offered for free to 567 inmates and 40 officers of Keffi Medium Prisons in order to improve their health by the Association of Community Pharmacists…

Loading...