Nigeria-China Relations @50 : Trade relations hits $19·27 billion says University Don

By John Okeke

The two-way trade between China and Nigeria is in the region 19.27 billion US dollars, Dr. Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim, Associate Professor, International Affairs, University of Abuja said.

Prof. Ibrahim said the 2019 figure was around 1,900 times that of 1971 when the diplomatic ties were established.

He made the disclosure in Abuja as the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China begins activities to commemorate the 50 years anniversary of the diplomatic relations of February 10.

Ibrahim further stated that the “trade growth rate was 26.3% ranking first among China’s top 40 trading partners.”

He listed some Nigeria projects China provided financing; ‘Abuja-Kaduna railway, Abuja Metro Light rail, Zangeru HydroPower Dam, Lagos-Ibadan railway’ to mention a few and in exchange, Nigeria systematically hired a Chinese firm to oversee its development projects, such as the 3,050 MW Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station.

In the same vein, Mr. Raphael Oni, Editor-in-Chief Diplomats Extra Magazine, who spoke at the same event said China has proven its friendship to Nigeria in the last 50 years,

Oni said in recent time, China has shown that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon in containing COVID-19.

The Editor-in-Chief, in his speech ‘Nigeria – China at 50: Toward a Shared Future’ further said year 2020 was an extraordinary year for both countries.

Adding more to his point, Oni said,
“The mutual support between the China and Nigeria vividly proves that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon to defeat COVID-19.

“When the pandemic broke out in Nigeria, China was among the first to offer help, gave medical supplies and shared experience on treating COVID-19.

“Chinese support has been critical to Nigeria’s fight of the pandemic. Mobilised to see and value human life first, the Chinese responded to the pandemic in Nigeria with same commitment they had in China.

“As a journalist, I have lost counts of functions covered where the Chinese government donated billion dollars equipment to various government offices to help fight COVID-19.

“Today, the world is being shaped by changes unseen in a century, a process accelerated by COVID-19. Despite the scourge of the COVID- 19 pandemic China has shown that she is a worthy friend and partner of Nigeria to stand up to challenges, not minding the effect of the pandemic yet sending a high level official to Africa.”

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