. . . As NICAF, Shanghai businessmen sign MoU
BY Emma Emeozor
It was a unique moment when the Nigeria-China Friendship Association (NICAF) and Shanghai Putuo Federation of Industry and Commerce, China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lagos.
Promoting good business relations, technical assistance, open doors in trade, investment and financial support were among the issues addressed in the MoU. Shanghai is China’s largest province and the country’s business hub. Besides its large market, it houses many businesses with advanced infrastructure and technology that Nigeria needs to enhance its development and growth.
The signing of the MoU outside the corridors of government highlights the importance of ‘People-to-People’ relations in bilateral ties between Nigeria and China. Speaking after the signing ceremony, His Royal Highness and former Ambassador to China, Adegbeyoga Ariyo said all it takes to achieve the objectives of NICAF are contained in the MoU. He was optimistic that the MoU would enhance Nigeria-China relations just as he appealed to the Chinese to be accommodative of Nigerians going to China for genuine business.
NICAF Vice Chairman and former Ambassador to China Sola Onadipe explained that the signing of the MoU was the high point of an intensive engagement of Shanghai province in the development and growth of Nigerian economy. He noted that Nigerians are hungry even as food was being wasted due to lack of processing and preservation facilities in the country.
Onadipe said when fully implemented, the MoU would enable Shanghai business men to assist the Nigerian business community with processing and preservation equipments, especially in the area of agriculture. He commended China for showing interest in the development and growth of Africa and drew attention to the modern-day Silk Road project embarked on by Beijing. The road is expected to link Asia with Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He disclosed that NICAF will deliberate on the project to determine its implication for Nigeria and Africa at large.
Director, Nigeria-China Business Council, Godwin Madumere told Daily Sun that the Mou would facilitate a business consortium between the two groups. He believes Nigeria stands to benefit from the MoU at both the public and private level. He said in the past the NCBC had facilitated business relations between Chinese companies and some state governments, stressing that the MoU would enable the Council to put together a better package, especially in the area of agriculture and infrastructure.
Commenting, the leader of the Chinese six-man delegation and Associate Research Consultant of the People’s Government of Taopu Township of Shanghai Putuo District, Mr. Wang Jianping explained that the MoU was a framework for business relations with NICAF and Nigeria at large.
He told witnesses at the ceremony that the visit to Nigeria has enlightened them on the business potentials that abound in the country. He said the delegation has a message for their counterparts at home and that is: Nigeria is a safe and lucrative business destination for them. He was particular about Nigeria’s agriculture, gas and oil sector. “We will encourage our members to come and invest in Nigeria and we will do our best to assist in the development and growth of Nigeria just like China,” he said.