Towards unlocking beneficial opportunities between Nigeria and China, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has expressed its commitment to engage in meaningful research activities with China.
The institution’s deputy vice-chancellor in charge of development services, Folashade Ogunsola, a professor, stated this at a recent seminar on research and collaboration opportunities between Nigeria and China.
It was organised by the university’s newly established Institute of Nigeria-China Development Studies (INCDS).
Mr Ogunsola expressed delight in the fruition of the institute and how it is geared towards harnessing research and collaboration potentials between the two countries.
She said the institute was established in November 2018 and is ready to be a resource centre for Chinese foreign investors and a think-tank for the Nigeria-China bilateral relationship.
She said: “We would love to see better relationship, cordiality, love of values exist between Nigeria and China which is beyond the trading relationship that is in existence.”
She said both nations need to find ways to work together and focus on the areas that need to be developed and gaps that need to be filled.
“With the institute, a symbiotic relationship and bidirectional relationship can exist. There is a lot we can learn from each other,” she added.
The institute’s director, Olufemi Saibu, a professor of economics at the university, said the institute would facilitate ”inward and outward trade relations between the two countries”.
He said the vision of the institute is to “become an institute for exchange of intellectual ideas and research excellence in pursuit of knowledge for development, mutual trade and economic activities that will impact positively the Chinese-Nigeria economies.”
Mr Saibu also said; “Since inception, selected people from the institute have paid a visit to China on two occasions where issues bordering on research and collaboration were discussed.
“The institute would provide a platform for profound and innovative research which will help propel Chinese investors and encourage investments, especially as relates to China-Nigeria relationship.”
Mr Saibu also disclosed the intention of the Chinese government to establish a Chinese-African Institute, one in South Africa and the other in the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
At the seminar, the ‘Nigeria-China Times Newspaper’- a publication of the institute and the Chinese Investors Association for Development and Promotion, was unveiled.
Meanwhile, Ronnie Liu, the Chairman of the Chinese Investment Association and the institute’s co-chairman spoke on ‘Business and Investment Opportunities in Nigeria and China.’
He said these opportunities abound and remain to be tapped by the people of the two countries.
“The association is trying to help more Chinese come to Nigeria, and know more about Nigeria in order to foster collaboration in trade and research. We hope to use the platform to train more Nigerians,” Mr Liu said.