Thursday, 14 April 2016

China Commits $15m Assistance To Nigeria’s Agric Sector



Chinese President Xi Jinping, yesterday in Beijing, offered $15 million agricultural assistance to Nigeria for the establishment of 50 demonstration farms across the country.
President Jinping announced the offer at a meeting between Nigerian delegation and high-ranking Chinese government officials in Beijing.
This was followed by the signing of an agreement to herald one of the largest granite and processing plants in Africa.
It is part of the efforts to boost President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s effort at diversifying the economy.
Chinese company, Shanghai Machinery Co. Limited and a Nigerian firm, Granite and Marble Limited, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish plants for assembling of mining equipment. It will also support capacity-building for the industry.
The MoU signing ceremony was part of the highlights of the business forum on production capacity and investment cooperation organised as part of the President’s ongoing five-day state visit to China.
The granite mining and processing plant is being supported with the special intervention fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Zenith International Bank Plc.

Chairman of the Chinese firm, Mr. Songke Yang was optimistic that with the commitment exhibited by the President during the forum, the plants should come on stream this year.
He promised to be a major player in the nation’s solid minerals sector’s growth.
According to him, the offer was in response to President Buhari’s desire to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production.
President Jinping agreed that Nigeria’s chosen path of development through economic diversification was the best way to go.
To help Nigeria achieve this, China promised to fully support the country through infrastructural development and capacity building.
President Jinping also expressed the readiness of China to set up major projects in Nigeria.
Such projects include refineries, power plants, mining companies, textile manufacturing and food processing industries.
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 Buhari.
The Chinese leader assured the Nigerian president that Nigeria would always have a special place in the affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
After the meeting, President Buhari directed that technical committees be immediately established to finalise discussions on new joint Nigeria/China rail, power, manufacturing, agricultural and solid mineral projects.
On his part, President Buhari welcomed China’s readiness to assist Nigeria in her bid to rapidly industrialise and join the world’s major economies.
President Buhari and President Jinping witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding between Nigeria and China.
Culled : Leadership