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Africa must plan mitigation measures on potential risk elements of BRI—NIMASA

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, may pose serious economic threats to Africa and Middle East states when in force.
Speaking in Dubai during the Dubai Maritime Summit 2018, which was part of the just ended five-day UAE Maritime Week 2018, he said “Risks of the BRI, a Chinese government development strategy aimed at enhancing regional connectivity through infrastructure development and investments in Europe, Asia and Africa, must be mitigated ahead of time to avoid collapse of certain economies.
The DG therefore urged African and Middle East countries to plan mitigation measures against potential risk elements of the initiative. He identified the likely risk elements to include trade imbalance in favour of China and Chinese control of trade infrastructure, which will give it a lot of leverage in the global market place.
Peterside noted that the “Chinese policy will affect port calls and hub decisions, which may adversely affect ports of Africa and Middle East; Chinese political influence and dominance leading to reintroduction of Sino centric order is imminent; the tanker market will shrink substantially, as pipelines across continents will be the preferred mode of transportation of oil and gas.”
Though he argued strongly that the benefits of the Chinese economic initiative outweighs the risks, NIMASA boss was optimistic that African economies have all it takes mitigate all associated risks coming with Chinese BRI.