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An analysis of China‐Nigeria investment relations

Gboyega Alabi Oyeranti (Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
Musibau Adetunji Babatunde (Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
E. Olawale Ogunkola (Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies

ISSN: 1754-4408

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the economic relation between China and Nigeria in the area of foreign direct investment (FDI).


The study employed the use of quantitative (descriptive analysis such as ratios, percentages and correlation as well as cross tabulations), qualitative (key informant interviews and surveys) and case studies – for example the railway transport project handled by the Chinese. The use of surveys assisted the study to generate firm‐level data that allowed the analysis of China‐Nigeria investment relations with respect to concerns such as the employment effects as well as the competitive and/or complementary effects of Chinese firms to local firms. The use of content analysis of relevant documents and reports obtained from various sources was equally involved to corroborate the results obtained from primary data.


The findings reveal that the major characteristic of Chinese investment in Nigeria is its concentration in a few sectors that are of strategic interest to China, especially in the extractive industries which are carried out largely by state‐owned enterprises or joint ventures. In addition, the analysis clearly shows that the engagement with China, just like any bilateral relationship, has some advantages and disadvantages and that optimal outcome of the engagement will depend on the policies and institutions that are put in place to maximize the complementary effects and to minimize the competing effects. However, there is need to ensure implementation of laws and regulations in Nigeria and to ensure compliance by the Chinese investors.


This is the first study to carry out an empirical analysis of the China‐Nigeria relation. The study was able to establish the sectors where the incoming FDI from China is directed and the extent at which Chinese FDI is bundled with inflows of aid. The study was also able to show that the incoming Chinese FDI are in resource seeking, and the output targeted at the external market. The study will be of value to academia and to policy makers who are interested in studying the China‐Africa relation.



Alabi Oyeranti, G., Adetunji Babatunde, M. and Olawale Ogunkola, E. (2011), "An analysis of China‐Nigeria investment relations", Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 183-199.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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