China and Nigeria sign $1.1bn deal

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Beijing on 10 July
Image caption President Jonathan is leading a business delegation on a four-day trip to China

China has agreed to give Nigeria a $1.1bn (£700m) low-interest loan to build much-needed infrastructure.

The deal was struck during Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday.

The money would help build roads, airport terminals in four cities, and a light-rail line for Nigeria's capital.

China is investing heavily in Africa at it relies on it for oil and other natural resources.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer, but its infrastructure needs updating and most people live in poverty.

Mr Xi said both countries had been brought together by a common task of pursuing national development, AFP news agency reports.

"As a proverb of Nigeria reads: 'A man cannot sit down alone to plan for prosperity,'" he is quoted as saying.

Mr Jonathan is leading a business delegation on a four-day trip to China to boost ties between the two countries.

Chinese companies are already building roads across Nigeria in contracts worth $1.7bn.

China's demand for crude oil produced in Nigeria is expected to rise tenfold to 200,000 barrels a day by 2015, Nigerian officials said, AFP reports.

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