Back to Africa Check

No, China not building police stations in Nigeria, and hasn’t taken over its customs service

IN SHORT: Debate about Nigeria’s financial debt to China continues. But a claim that the Asian giant is building police stations in Africa’s most populous country, and has even taken over the Nigeria Customs Service, is unsupported.

“My fellow Nigerians are you guys aware that China are already building their Police stations in Nigeria and Nigeria custom taken over by China? An invitation to debt slavery.”

That’s a message copied and pasted across Facebook in October 2022.

“Nigeria custom” refers to the Nigeria Customs Service.

Nigeria’s diplomatic ties to China date back to 1971.

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed claims that Chinese loans are a trap. But public debate about Nigeria’s indebtedness to China continues.

Has the Chinese government built police stations in Nigeria and taken over its customs service? We checked.

ChinaNigeria_False

No evidence for claim

None of the Facebook messages explain how and where the information was acquired. This lack of detail is often a sign that a claim is false.

There have been no reputable news reports, locally or globally, that China is building police stations in Nigeria or taking over its customs service. If it were true, it would have hit the headlines.

But local media has reported that the Chinese government has denied the claim that it is building police stations in Nigeria.

And a search of the Chinese government’s website produced no evidence to support the claim.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.