China’s Engagement with the Nigerian Oil Sector
China used to access Nigerian oil exclusively through long-term contracts and purchases on the spot market, but its economy’s rapidly growing demand for oil has led the Chinese government to seek increased Chinese ownership of Nigerian oil reserves. China’s interest in Nigerian oil was strongly encouraged by the Nigerian government during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo (1999–2007), which demanded of it ‘oil for infrastructure’. Obasanjo’s government auctioned oil blocs in bidding rounds that required Chinese bidders to commit themselves to providing Nigeria with major infrastructural projects. After initial hesitation, Beijing responded positively, coupling its investments with substantial involvement in Nigerian construction projects.