After five decades of bilateral relations, Nigeria and China, have set a benchmark for renewed cooperation by signing an MOU aimed at establishing an inter-governmental committee that will coordinate all aspects of Nigeria-China cooperation.
The event which took place at the TafawaBalewa House during the recent visit of the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi to Nigeria, and hosted by Geoffery Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a reflection of the mutual commitment by both governments to strengthen bilateral relations.
In his address, Mr.Onyeama lauded the establishment of the committee and noted that the decision by his Chinese counterpart to visit Nigeria first, among the five African countries selected, was a reflection of the importance which China attached to her relationship with Nigeria. He pointed out that China had contributed greatly to the successes recorded in the priority areas of the administration of President Buhari, some of which are infrastructure development, economic diversification and trade relation.
“This visit by the State Councillor is a very important one, we have held discussions and agreed to sign an MOU on establishing an inter-governmental Committee that will be in charge of coordinating all aspects of cooperation between the two countries in many areas.”
Onyeama further disclosed that the Chinese government has announced a donation of 100 million RMB (50 million dollars).
In his response, the Mr. Wang Yi said that the relationship between Nigeria and China needed to be advanced, hence the need for the two countries to set up an inter-governmental committee that will synergise new developments and advance key projects to support more rapid industrialisation in Nigeria.
According to the Chinese envoy, “We will expand cooperation into new areas of digital and green economy to make development more diversified. Our two countries will continue to work closely on COVID-19 response and strongly support each other to a final victory which is a cure. We will further engage in military and security cooperation to contribute to Nigeria’s national security capacity building. We will also coordinate in regional and international affairs.”
Also in attendance were other government Ministers including the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Aviation, HadiSirika, the Minister of State for Health, OlorunnimbeMamora, and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.