Anambra-China Airport Project: Envoy promises China’s intervention

March 25th, 2019

By John Okeke

The Chinese Ambassa­dor to Nigeria , Dr.Zhou Pingjian,has promised to get his government intervene in projects being handled by Chinese companies at the Anambra-China Airport Project in the state.

This was sequel to an appeal by Governor Willie Obiano to China to assist in facilitating the prompt com­pletion of some projects being han­dled by Chinese companies in Anam­bra State, especially the International Airport at Umueri.

The governor made the request when the Chinese ambassador to Ni­geria, Zou Pingjian, paid him a cour­tesy call at Governor’s Lodge, Amaw­bia on last week .
He stressed that due to delays in the project execution at the airport site, Anambra government offered to undertake the construction of a sec­tion of the runway while hoping that full work would soon resume there.

The governor said by the time the airport would be completed, Anam­bra hoped to have more Chinese presence in the state as some ter­tiary institutions now offer Chinese language in their course curriculum.

He urged them to use the oppor­tunity provided by the visit to see some tourist sites, cultural artefacts and centres, to explore for improve­ments.
“This will go a long way in help­ing to cement our ties,’’ he explained.

Pingjian explained that the aim of his visit was to explore coopera­tion opportunities at the state level, and noted that the relationship be­tween China and Anambra had been cordial and productive and as such, should be across board at all levels.

He commended the governor for his vision, saying that China was working in the same direction, in line with the vision of the Anambra gov­ernment.

“In China, the Congress last Fri­day, passed a law on foreign invest­ment which is in line with the vision of Anambra State. China is creating more enabling environment for for­eign investors to support growth of the state,” he said.

He re-assured of Chinese govern­ment’s readiness to assist to speed up all projects being handled by Chinese companies in the state.

Top government functionaries present at the event included Sec­retary to the State Government (SSG), Solo Chukwulobelu, and Pri­mus Odili, the Chief of Staff.

Meanwhile, following the meet­ing, the Anambra government has continued to strengthen efforts at diversifying partnership with China to boost cultural relationship, accord­ing to Obiano.

The essence of the visit was to pro­mote cultural exchange through es­tablishment of Anambra-Chinese Cultural Centre and to finalise plans to train youths in China.
The proposed cultural centre would have a theatre and other fa­cilities that would facilitate a cultur­al exchange between Anambra and China.

Obiano, while receiving the am­bassador and his team, called on Chinese government to establish a consular office in the state as a vast number of Anambra people travel to China for business purposes.

“Right now Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University is offering Mandarin language. We are doing all these to consolidate our re­lationship with China,” the gover­nor said.

The governor stressed that the state government earmarked land for the construction of Anambra State China Cultural Centre and Theatre Art.
He said the state has rich cultural heritage and potential that has yet to be harnessed.

Pingjian commended Obiano for creating investment opportuni­ties in the state, and noted that Chi­na’s main reason in seeking part­nership with Anambra State was to harness the state’s rich cultural values and promote commercial activities.

He stressed that they would col­laborate with the state to create en­abling environment for more busi­ness opportunities.
Sally Mbanefo, commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tour­ism, explained that the partnership was as a result of the relationship the state had built with China through cultural exchanges.

She noted that Anambra in the past one year enjoyed cultural ex­change programmes with the Chi­nese, which led to high interest be­ing developed between the two countries.

Mbanefo said Anambra cultur­al troupe was the only team invit­ed by China to Abuja during celebration of the Chinese New Year 2019, saying some youths from the state would be trained in China at the in­vitation of the Chinese gov­ernment.

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