Chibok Schoolgirls: China pledges assistance in rescue efforts – Jonathan

Jonathan with chinese president

“We also agreed to deepen cooperation in the field of defense and security and strengthen cooperation in counter terrorism, anti piracy and combating organized crimes.”

The Chinese Government has offered to join other countries to assist Nigeria in the fight against terror and especially in efforts to rescue the over 250 girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.

This was disclosed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday at a joint press conference alongside the visiting Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang.

“We agreed to deepen cooperation in the field of defence and security and strengthen cooperation in counter terrorism, anti piracy and combating organised crimes,” Mr. Jonathan said.

“The Premier expressed firm support to efforts at safeguarding our sovereignty and secure our territorial integrity as well as promoting economic development

“The Premier promised that China will assist Nigeria in our fight against terror especially our commitment and efforts to rescue the girls that were taken away from a Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State,” he said.

The Chinese Premier, who led China’s delegation to the World Economic Forum on Africa, paid an official visit to President Jonathan and held bilateral discussions with Nigerian officials on the sideline of the World Economic Forum for Africa, which kicked off in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The President disclosed that China will encourage more investment in real sector of Nigerian economy, adding that he has directed minister of trade to work towards implementing signed bilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and China.

“We also agreed to deepen cooperation in the field of defense and security and strengthen cooperation in counter terrorism, anti piracy and combating organized crimes.

“The Premier expressed firm support to efforts at safeguarding our sovereignty and secure our territorial integrity as well as promoting economic development,” Mr. Jonathan said.

Both leaders held bilateral discussions during which they examined issues of common interest to both countries.

Mr. Jonathan hinted that they “examined issues of common interest to our countries. We reviewed in particular, our economic, trade, political and cultural relations.”

“We are satisfied with the achievements recorded in those fields. We also agreed that the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between our two countries coming up in 2015 should be marked to further deepen our relations,” he said.

He also disclosed that they undertook to maintain the momentum of exchange of visits at all levels, including between governments, political parties and legislatures in order to promote mutual understanding and trust.

“I reiterate Nigeria’s commitment to the one-China policy while the Premier expressed firm support for our efforts to safeguard our national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity as well as promoting economic development.

“We agreed to encourage our bastions, companies to further deepen cooperation in infrastructure development especially the railways, power plants and airports.

“We also agreed that the economic cooperation zones established by the Chinese enterprise in Nigeria have achieved tangible progress and that those enterprises should be encouraged to invest in various fields of the Nigerian economy,” Mr. Jonathan said.

Both leaders also expressed support for the financial institutions of the two countries for cooperation in lending to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

“We undertook that the Central Banks of the two countries should promote local currency settlements to facilitate bilateral trade and investment,” the Nigerian president said.

At the end of the discussions, ministers of both countries signed a number of bilateral cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding, including the bilateral air services agreement which is expected to promote greater people to people contact and also enhance bilateral trade and commerce.

The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, in his speech, disclosed that Nigeria and China agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, financial services, trade and investment, agriculture, air services, aerospace and people to people exchange.

He noted that Nigeria is one of China’s trading partners in Africa. Last year trade between the two countries reached about $30.6 billion .

“We hope to see not just more trade between us but also stronger cooperations between the two countries in the development of agriculture in Nigeria.

“During this visit, we will also be signing cooperation agreements with regards to public health and science and technology,” he said.

He stated that “China also wants to work with Nigeria to ensure quality and safety of our mutual exchange and export.”

“I wish to emphasise that we know that the government and people of Nigeria pay high attention to coastal rail project in Nigeria,” adding that the “project is quite significant to the national security and economic development of the country.”

“Chinese companies have already shown a key interest in this project and the Chinese government will give support to the cooperations between the two sides on the project in terms of financing and experts.

“We want to work with Nigeria to the conclusion of the project so that it will bring benefits to the people of Nigeria.

“During my visit this time to Nigeria, just now, we witnessed more new agreement between our two countries and also the purpose of my visit is to ensure that there will be smooth and solid progress in implementing these agreements,” the Chinese Premier said.

“We are happy to see that in recent years there have been very rapid economic growth in Nigeria and Nigeria has become the largest economy in the African continent.”