Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has commended the People’s Republic of China as this year marks 50 years of cordial bilateral relationship between both countries.
Buhari made the commendation while playing host to Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang Yi, who was on a two-day official visit to Nigeria.
According to a statement made available to Financial Street on Wednesday, the visit was part of efforts to discuss plans to further strengthen the strong bond between the two countries and increase investment opportunities.
In a remark, Buhari acknowledged that “there cannot be sustainable development without infrastructural development.”
He thanked the Chinese government for constantly supporting Nigeria to reduce severe infrastructural deficits, building roads and rails and providing power supply, defence, among others.
He pledged Nigeria would continue to honour its obligations with China.
The president also recognised the contribution of Chinese companies in Nigeria.
He said, “Arising from our strong bilateral relations which commenced fifty years ago, much progress has been recorded, with outstanding contributions by Chinese companies such as CCEC, CCRL, Chinese Hydropower and Huawei in ICT network of Infrastructure and ICT talent development…I will like to assure that Nigeria will continue to provide enabling environment for more investments”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, noted that issues in the educational sector were discussed including China’s support through Huawei in the information and communications technology sector.
On his part, Yi said China highly values Nigeria as its main strategic cooperation partner in Africa, adding that in 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between both countries, there has been mutual respect, trust and support for each other.
He recalled that in 2019, China-Nigeria two way trade grew by 1900 times than that of 50 years ago, saying that it was indeed something remarkable.
Yi said, “…has provided a fine example for regional and international cooperation. All of these epitomizes that China-Nigeria cooperation has strong moments from within. It means the common interest of both countries and our peoples had become an important part of China-Africa Cooperation and South-South Cooperation.”
He assured that China and Nigeria would continue to work closely on COVID-19 response and firmly support each other until a final victory is secured.
The Chinese state councilor promised that there would be an inter-governmental committee co-chaired by the two foreign ministers to lead cooperation across the board and synergise China’s new development paradigm and Nigeria’s development plan.
He also promised that China “…will deepen cooperation in a context of the Belt and Road to advance key projects in support of more rapid industrialization in Nigeria and its greater capacity for self-development. We will expand cooperation into new areas of digital and green economy to make development more diversified.”
“We will further engage in military and security cooperation to contribute to Nigeria’s national security capacity building. We will further coordinate in regional and international affairs, promote multilateralism and uphold common interest of developing countries,” Yi added.
He hinted that China would encourage Chinese companies to increase investments in Nigeria and also readily share experience and techniques in as many areas as possible.