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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.


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.

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