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China’s pledge to help Nigeria fight “Modern Day Slavery” met with criticism

The recent revelation by Nigeria-based Chinese Cultural Counselor, Mr. Li Xuda of the Chinese government’s readiness to help Nigeria to fight against what he described as modern-day slavery has since been stepping on the nerves of many netizens.

It would be recalled that, during the recent program held in Abuja to commemorate International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition, Mr. Li mentioned that “China is ready to work with Nigeria to fight against Modern Day Slavery and create a better future for our next generation.”

He went ahead to add that, “the abolition of slavery is a major advancement in human society. As we are aware, in contemporary times, new forms of slavery have emerged, especially the modern-day subtle, concealed, and undefended forms of slavery.”

In identifying some of these modern-day forms of slavery Li mentioned child and adult slavery, forced labor, human trafficking as examples without including the equally dangerous modern-day slavery which comes in the form of debt trap which the Chinese government and other financial institutions keep using to capture the African continent.

The supposed offer from China was tagged widely as “incomplete” as many netizens want the cultural counselor to openly admit the ravaging effects of the unfavorable terms of Chinese and other killer loans which keep threatening the future of the continent.

Amidst rising calls for the country to exercise caution with excessive borrowing in late 2020, Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi came out with claims to refute claims that the country’s sovereignty was under the thumbs of Beijing due to the increasing level of debt. Mr. Rotimi claimed Nigeria had waived its loan immunity, protecting it from a possible default.

“We must learn to pay our debts and we are paying, and once you are paying, nobody will come and take any of your assets,” he said but the fears still persist due to the alarming debt rates. The country’s debt management office reported in December 2020 that, “Nigeria’s debt to China grew 136% between September 2015 and September 2020, from $1.4 billion to $3.3 billion.”

Do you agree with the critics that, Mr. Li Xuda should have included debt trap to the list of modern-day slavery?

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