By Ochiaka Ugwu
Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China in Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian has expressed his country’s willingness to support Nigeria implement its set Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Dr. Zhou said this yesterday in an international seminar in Abuja organized by Centre for China Studies (CCS) in collaboration with Foreign Policy Advisory Group of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Nigeria with the theme: “Nigeria-China Relations and the Prospects to Realize Industrial and Production Capacity Co-operation”.
Zhou noted that his country is interested in advancing China-Africa Ten Major Cooperation Plans which focuses on “Belt and Road”.
His words, “The Chinese side is willing to comprehensively advance China-Africa Ten Major Cooperation Plans, push forward the implementation of the “Belt and Road” construction in Nigeria and Africa, support Nigeria in well implementing its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and support Africa in well implementing the Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
While thanking CCS Director, Mr. Charles Onunaiju for putting the event together, he expressed optimism that upcoming FOCAC meeting in Beijing will greatly boost China-Africa cooperation in general and China-Nigeria partnership in particular.
“The upcoming FOCAC meeting next year in Beijing will be the first of its kind after the 19th CPC National Congress. It is our belief that the Congress will give a fresh boost to China-Africa cooperation and China-Nigeria strategic partnership”.
Speaking earlier, Director of CCS, Mr. Charles Onunaiju in his welcome address noted that the seminar was apt coming when vital outcomes of FOCAC summit held in Johannesburg were being implemented.
He stated that Chinese President, Xi Jinping pledged cooperation was mostly based on agricultural and industrial modernization.
He held that since the summit, enormous fruits of the outcome can be seen all over Africa, including the nearly 10,000km Africa’s first electric railway connecting the bourgeoning-Ethiopia’s industrial heartland to the part of Djibouti.
The CCS Director said the nearly 200km Abuja-Kaduna Standard gauge railway has been completed, commissioned and already in use with the Lagos-Ibadan-Kano been flagged off.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa said that Africa’s relation with China has reached a stage it should be win-win situation and not about big colonization.
She lamented that Nigerians are not yet ready to take over from china through technology transfer.
Senate Vice Chairman on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani said that China has demonstrated the possibility of deciding your own affairs without interference from any quarters.
He said that 70 to 80 percent infrastructural development of the nation is dependent on China.
Leader of Coalition of Women in Business, Bar. Uju Okpara made strong case for technology transfer saying that a growing economy like Nigeria with stagnant manufacturing sector was not sustainable.