By Maazi Obinna Agommuo
The Chinese has always been here in Afrika, I still recall that one of the largest group with over 60 Factories in Nigeria alone and with presence in every Afrikan country, the M. L Lee Group of company employing over 20,000 Nigerians today is a Chinese group. I have known that group as far back as in the early 90s.
The Chinese has always been ahead but are very silent at their operations until now that the world has just realized how deep their technology has evolved. Like I wrote in one of my articles, virtually every home in China has a factory at their backyard. Men, Women, Wives, Children are busy 24/7 engaging themselves in production of one ware or the other.
I recall in one of my visits to China with one of my partners, we drove for 6 hours from Beijing to Hebei Province in search of a Plastic Recycling Machine, we were led by our Agent, we got to a home at past 2.00 am in the morning, were ushered in and lo and behold, it was the Housewife of the home who doesn’t speak English that was designing and building the Plastic Recycling Machine we went to inspect. The Chinese Housewives and Children contribute heavily to the GDP of their Country.
The Chinese never had Western Education and will never have Western Education but are truly the ones educated in the real sense of it. So it’s high time Afrika do away with this Western Education that has led us no where and embrace the Chinese pattern of Education.
I had a very embarrassing experience sometime in 2012 when I invited some Chinese along with their Singaporean partners to Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, Warri for a business transaction. The Management of Warri Refinery was asked a simple question to ascertain the production capacity as at then going by the quantity of the end product presented to us, they gave us a figure which the Chinese who supervised the Design and Construction of their own Petrochemical plant in China, vehemently disputed the figure and decided to work from the output to the input and behold that was the number we saw in the control room of the Refinery, yet the then MD of the Refinery didn’t have this number before him.
Same day a question was posed to the guy manning the two Spherical Storage Tank meant for their Propylene Rich Feed (PRF), “what’s the capacity of each of these Tanks” the guy responded “18 meters”. At that point I lost it and raised my voice at the young man, “He’s asking for the capacity in Volume, in Cubic Meter or in Tons” then he went, “ok let me call my boss who had worked here and retired and brought back under contract, he should know” the Old man was called and hear him “na ordinary 18 meter you no fit remember?”. Then I knew Nigeria has a bigger problem than I had envisaged.
The same Chinese took the 18 meter and worked with the density of the product to arrive at the actual storage capacity of each of the Storage Tank to be 1,250 metric tons as against 3,000 metric tons that was presented to me before I invited the Chinese from China and their Partners from Singapore.
Again we went back into the Control room and the figure of 2500 Metric tons representing the storage capacities of the two Tanks put together was on a chart staring at the operator and he didn’t know what it was. At the end we were told that those who handed over the Refinery to them only taught them how to “switch on” and “switch off” the machines. That they were so selfish that they couldn’t transfer knowledge they acquired from the Italians who built the Refinery to them the younger ones.
This is the tragedy of the Afrikan man, selfishness and secrecy overrides his sense of patriotism and development. Little wonder why the Nigerian Refineries are not working? When last did the operators of the Nigerian Refineries go for training? Why do we think that each time the Refineries break down we have to look out for the Italian companies to come to our Aids? Unfortunately Snamprojetti that built the Refineries are no more so we run to the Italian Agip Oil Company for help.
This explains why I have been advocating that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should be privatized to the real players in the Oil and Gas industry but not to their proxies as they did in the case of the Power sector in Nigeria.
We must understand these things so that we know that Africa seems irredeemable with the crop of visionless selfish leaders we have had overtime in the continent.