The Chinese government has intensified its push to boost the level of economic cooperation with Nigeria through the introduction of five sub-committees that would deliberate on five critical areas affecting Nigeria.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cul Jianchun revealed the development during the commissioning of the new airport terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
The terminal is among the four terminals funded by China with a $500m loan.
Last year, the United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, had during his visit made a proposal to extend ties with Nigeria and also warned the country of accumulating Chinese debt that it cannot repay.
As of December 31, 2021, Nigeria’s indebtedness to China is $3.6bn, according to the Debt Management Office.
Chinese Ambassador said,
“Last year, our two governments decided to establish an intergovernmental committee. This year, before the end of June, the first meeting will be held in Beijing. We will formulate our concrete, specific plan for the two countries.
“I want to say we have five sub-committees. We have finished three subcommittees: one is about the security/military sub-committee and second is about the culture and tourist committee and the third is about the politics and the diplomatic sub-committee.
“Mr. President, we are preparing for the next two sub-committees: one is about the economic sector, second is about the agriculture committee. So, we believe that these five sub-committees will make a plan for the decision before the end of June in Beijing.
“I want to say China really is qualified, capable and competent and also risk adventive partners. Believe me, I will work hard to work in these sectors with you all.”
Jianchun said in Lagos that Nigeria has always supported China in the international community, adding that political cooperation between both countries would give room for economic prosperity in Nigeria.
According to him, without political cooperation, China’s economic intervention in Nigeria may be restricted.
“I want to share with you that without political consonance, without political support, we cannot make economic cooperation and the security and military collaboration, international affairs coordination.
“I hope that we will have a good prospect. We would like to have a good corporation for rapid progress. I do believe future Nigeria could be a prosperous country not only in Africa but also the international community.”Jianchun added.