By Lillian Chukwu
Nigeria’s Information Communication Technology sector is to receive a financial boost of 328 million dollars from the Export-Import Bank of China.
In an online report, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu said at the weekend that the President, Muhammadu Buhari and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign the agreement during the former’s current visit to the country.
Shehu said that the agreement will be between Galaxy Backbone Ltd., a Nigerian company and Huawei Technologies of China.
“During the 6-day official visit of the Nigerian President, he is expected to join his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping to witness the signing of an agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 11 (NICTIB 11) between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) at the cost of US $328 million facility provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank.
“The bank facility is for the development of NICTIB 11 project which is consistent with the current administration’s commitment to incorporating the development of ICT into national strategic planning under the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“President Buhari and his Chinese host will also witness the signing of the Memorandum Of Understanding on One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR). It may be recalled that in 2013, the Chinese leader proposed the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, with a view to integrating the development strategies of partnering countries” Garba stated.
The Presidential aide said that during the high-level dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders and Business representatives on the margins of FOCAC, the Nigerian delegation is also expected to sign no fewer than 25 MOUs, including those proposed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.