By Thomas Thomas
The ongoing execution of World Bank drainage construction project in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has exposed the Chinese somewhat recolonial plan in Nigeria. Our Correspondent reported that every indigenous subcontractor handling one form of subcontract or the other in the ongoing drainage construction in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has at least one bitter experience with the Chinese. For instance, those supplying sand to the Chinese company are currently not happy with the manner they are treated. They told our Correspondent that “the Chinese contractors are in the habit of deducting their pay by 25 per cent from every truck of sand supplied”. According to them, “the Chinese are careless about our feelings. They do not consider the present state of Nigeria’s economy. And the worst is that they do not sign any paper or issue any letter of award of contract or subcontracts to indigenes.”
The Paper learnt that the contract (drainage construction), from all indications, has proven that the Chinese have a hegemonic mindset against Nigerians. And, in fact, the handling of the project by the Chinese seems to be one of the many ways to pave the way for their domination of Nigerians in their own country, using their draconian strategies and policies which are racial in disposition. If care is not taken, the Chinese through their firms in the country will experiment the same hegemonic style they are currently exhibiting in Gambia and other East African countries.
The Chinese seem to be adopting the British colonial strategy of using firms to exert influences on a foreign land. It could be recalled that the British Government used firms (companies) to commence the process of colonizing Nigeria. They used companies like Royal Niger Company, etc to exert their influence on Nigeria and its people. After some years those companies subtly handed over the administration of the polity to the British government officials cum military officers from 1906. It is obvious that the Chinese government is adopting the British strategies in entirety, using their state-sponsored firms.
In Akwa Ibom State, for instance, the Chinese companies are enslaving the indigenes with impunity. As a matter of fact, the indigenes are coerced to execute the very contracts that are officially awarded to Chinese companies by subletting same on terms and conditions that are too derogatory. The Chinese company, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), handling the World Bank sponsored drainage construction in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, is reportedly subletting its contracts to indigenous contractors without LPO, and without going through necessary procedures to authenticate the deal.
The N12 Billion World Bank assisted project awarded to China Road and Bridge Corporation, CRBC, cuts across 17 communities in 3 local government areas: Uyo, Nsit Ibom and Ibesikpo Asutan.
A source who spoke with Global Concord Newspaper alleged that “the China Road and Bridge Corporation, CRBC, is in the habit of subletting contracts without issuing any document to legalize the deal.” According to the source who pleaded anonymity, “the Chinese firm is adopting that strategy in order to forestall any form of litigation against them”.
The Paper learnt from impeccable sources that “they do not issue contract documents to the subcontractors because they do not want the World Bank (the sponsors of this project) and the Federal Government to know that they are subletting part of this project to indigenous contractors at pea-nut prices. They do not mine if the standard and quality will be compromised as a result of low cost of award price”.
Another source also informed our correspondent that the Chinese company sublets contracts without determining the length and width of the works they are subletting, and without LPO or any document to back up such transaction. From the document sighted by our correspondent, those indigenous subcontractors who were handling supplies of sand got their pay deducted by twenty five per cent (25%) from every truck of sand supplied without their knowledge. The question on the lips of those interviewed within the CRBC’s construction site along IBB Avenue, Uyo recently, is: ” How could CRBC sublet contracts without Letters of Award of contracts?” It is alleged that some of the Chinese personnel in the CRBC yard along Good luck Jonathan Boulevard, Uyo have been bragging arrogantly that “Nigeria is a wrong country, therefore, they can do anything and get away with it”.
Global Concord gathered that Nigerians that have any form of business transaction or interaction with the Chinese in the country have gotten bitter experiences and awkward stories to tell because of Chinese bigotry and their obvious recolonial tendencies.
Presently, the Chinese have taken over the Republic of Gambia with a re-colonial intention; and sources alleged that they are bent on recolonizing Nigeria. Therefore, the Federal Government of Nigeria, and indeed, the Akwa Ibom State Government, must be interested in whatever the Chinese are doing in the country, and also take particular interest in the way they are treating Nigerians. If Nigeria must go ahead with any form of relationship with the Chinese there should be laws and rules to that effect, for Nigeria’s sovereignty to be maintained.