Nigeria: $1 billion infrastructure loan from China

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s finance minister says President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to China will finalize $1.1 billion in low-interest loans for much-needed infrastructure in Africa’s giant, from airports and roads to a hydropower plant.

Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told The Associated Press she is also looking for Chinese investment and increased trade with Nigeria.

She also said “China is desirous of increasing its lifting of Nigerian oil.” The petroleum minister is among senior Cabinet members on the trip along with several state governors. She said as U.S. demand for Nigerian oil has fallen, India and China have taken up the slack.

Okonjo-Iweala said the loans are part of $3 billion approved by China at interest rates less than 3 percent.

She leaves with Jonathan Monday night for the four-day visit starting Tuesday.

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