Abuja – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday in Beijing offered 15 million dollars agricultural assistance to Nigeria for the establishment of 50 Demonstration Farms across the country.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement said President Jinping announced the offer at a meeting between Nigerian delegation and high-ranking Chinese government officials in Beijing.
It said that the offer was in response to President Buhari’s desire to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production.
It added that 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,’’ it said.
The statement said that President Jinping also expressed the readiness of China to set up major projects in Nigeria.
It listed the projects to include refineries, power plants, mining companies, textile manufacturing and food processing industries as soon as the enabling environment was provided by the Federal Government.
The statement said that 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,’’ the statement added.
The statement said 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 Peoples 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.
According to the statement, the technical committees will conclude their assignments before the end of May.
The statement said President Buhari welcomed China’s readiness to assist Nigeria in her bid to rapidly industrialize and join the world’s major economies.
The statement said that after the talks, President Buhari and President Jinping witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding between Nigeria and China.
They included 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.”
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 was also signed
Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and a “Mandate Letter Between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Central Bank of Nigeria on Renminbi (RMB) Transactions’’ were also signed. (NAN)