By Festus Fifen.
The strong desire and efforts of the president Buhari led administration to diversify the Nigeria economy has received a boost as president Xi Jinping of the people republic of china has offered 15 million US dollars agricultural assistance to nigeria for the establishment of 50 Agricultural Demonstration Farms across the country.
President Jinping who made this disclosure in Beijing after Bilateral talks between Nigeria and the Chinese government; pledge the readiness of china to assist Nigeria in her bid to rapidly industrialize and join the world’s major economies.
In a statement by the senior special assistant to president Buhari on Media and publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, president Jinping agreed that Nigeria’s chosen pat of development through economic diversification was the best way to go.
Subsequently, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that technical committees be immediately established to finalize discussions on new joint Nigeria/ China rail, power, manufacturing, agricultural and solid minerals projects.
The president who was acting on china’s readiness in setting up major projects in nigeria such as refineries, power plants, mining companies, textile manufacturing and food processing industries as soon as the enabling environment is provided Directed that the technical committees are to conclude their assignments before the end of next month.
China and nigeria also agreed to strengthen military and civil service exchanges as part of larger capacity-building engagements.
In line with this, China offered to raise its scholarship awards to Nigerian students from about 100 to 700 annually. In addition, 1,000 other Nigerians are to be given vocational and technical training by China annually.
President Jinping who applauded the war against corruption being waged by President Buhari assured him that Nigeria will always have a special place in the affairs of the Peoples Republic of China.
After the talks, President Buhari and President Jinping witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding by Nigeria and China.
The agreements include a “Framework Agreement Between the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples Republic of China.”
Others were a “Memorandum of Understanding on Aviation Cooperation between the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China” and a “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation”.
A “Mandate Letter Between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Central Bank of Nigeria on Renminbi (RMB) Transactions was also signed.