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 mineral projects.
The president gave the directive Tuesday in Beijing after talks between his delegation and high-ranking Chinese government officials led by President Xi Jinping, his spokesman, Garba Shehu said in a statement.
The technical committees are to conclude their assignments before the end of May.
President Buhari had at the talks welcomed China’s readiness to assist Nigeria in her bid to rapidly industrialize and join the world’s major economies.
President Jinping agreed that Nigeria’s chosen path of development through economic diversification was the best way to go.
To help Nigeria to achieve this, China promised to fully support the country through infrastructural development and capacity building.
China also expressed an interest 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 by the Federal Government.
In response to President Muuhammadu Buhari’s desire to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, President Jinping offered 15 million U.S. dollars agricultural assistance to Nigeria for the establishment of 50 Agricultural Demonstration Farms across the country.
China and Nigeria also agreed to strengthen military and civil service exchanges as part of a larger capacity-building engagement.
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 applauded the war against corruption being waged by President Buhari.
The Chinese leader assured President Buhari 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.