Re: Fiduciary duty of care over Chinese loans by Obadiah Mailafia

Dear Dr Mailafia,

In this essay you proudly announce, maybe as a form of public disclosure, that you are “an admirer of China and do not buy much of the Western propaganda”. This is despite the catalogue of China’s business malpractices that you were able to identify in her business dealings with Africa. Still, your admiration of China seems to remain unshaken.

You claimed that the “Chinese, . . . view us [Africa] as genuine partners with whom they can do business.” I assume this confidential information must have come down from a privileged source. Though, in the same breath you acknowledged that in reality: “The Chinese are not here as Good Samaritans”

Moreover, you cited cases of few African countries presently indebted to China and “have had difficulties paying back their loans”. Of course, it is not a strange phenomenon as far as you are concerned, that “Beijing is attempting to make a call on the assets they have pledged as collateral”. In other words, China is legally bound and by contractual rights to seize the national assets of the indebted ‘dumb’ countries.

You equally noted, as if it is beside the point, that “It is also sadly true that the Chinese have not always been transparent with us.”

If you, an admirer of China, can easily describe the bad and unbecoming business practices of your admired friend, what else is left to say by a non-admirer of China that wants to forbid China’s ruthless business practices from continuing in Africa.

Dr Mailafia, it seems to me that you did not put your heart in this essay. This is purely an intellectual exercise that is bereft of any moral scruple. It is quite understandable that writing a regular column can easily turn into a perfunctory habit whereby a time-bound column-writing engagement can almost become a mechanical or an automatic chores that is done even while sleepwalking.

With the ample anecdotal examples of unethical practices presented in this short essay, How can you justify any business (or more appropriately) any loan-sharking relationship between African countries and China?

Concerning Nigeria’s insatiable desire to borrow more money for the usual elephant projects, you rightly conceded in the last sentence of the essay that, “Unless the model is changed, it would be foolish to borrow more from the Chinese.”

What is the Nigeria’s model that needs changing? According to your observation of what happened to loans taken by Nigeria in the past, you reckoned, “a lot of money goes down the pork barrel of a bureaucracy that has turned rent-seeking into a sophisticated art form.”

I only wish you can be bold and unencumbered by political correctness to say it as it is. If indeed Nigeria is truly an independent country, it should have no business borrowing from any malevolent or benevolent country.

As a former deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, you are more than qualified to understand how money is created from thin air particularly by those who are raping and rampaging the financial resources of countries and who are holding the whole world to ransom.

Similar method of creating money from thin air can be done and should be done by any knowledgeable and disciplined country that understands the true meaning of money as a means to an end.

However, I am more concerned about the fate of Africa in the current dispensation of globalisation and one world government. African intellectual giants must be able to fathom that the trend of global political, economic and cultural events being fashioned and championed by either the west or the east is not going to be favourable to Africa. Supporting or admiring the west or the east in the ignoble business of enslaving Africa again is not a wise position to take by any awakened African.

The present global civilisation and the designed monetary/financial architecture that supports and maintains it, are soulless. The spirit and its ideological underpinning are of ‘might-is-right’ – it is a primitive philosophy of the jungle. It is a civilisation built around a culture of “clever dog-eat-dumb-dog” relationship. A world where everyone is “ready or willing to fight and hurt others to get what one wants”.

The only reasonable path for Africa is to detour away from the present inimical culture of the ‘civilised world’. It is only by putting Africa outside this amoral culture that Africans can build and develop a real civilised culture and life that will be based on freedom, equality and justice for all.

The idea of opening up Africa again for economic enslavement by either the west or the east can never be the answer to the existential problems facing Africans. Africa must begin to resist the culture of the psychopaths who have colonised the financial jungle of the world and who are forever determined to keep having Africans for lunch.

In the Spirit of a Truth


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