Pegs COVID-19 donation to Nigeria at N3 billion
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
In commemoration of the independence anniversary of Nigeria and China on October 1, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria honoured on Monday 49 employees of Chinese companies in Nigeria.
The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria said statistics from the China General Chambers of Commerce revealed that the total value of materials and funds donated by the local Chinese private stakeholders to Nigeria amounted to N3 billion.
The award, according to the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, Mr Zhao Yong, was borne out of the outstanding performance and contributions of the employees to the strengthening of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria.
Zhao, who presented N100,000 cash awards to each of the 49 beneficiaries on Monday in Abuja, said the award ceremony was organised to commemorate both countries’ independence anniversary on October 1 and forty-nine years of friendship and bilateral relations between both countries.
The October 1st awards for China-Nigeria friendship began in 2018 and had so far been granted to 14 batches, with a total number of 670 recipients.
Students have also received the awards for their diligence and as a way of promoting friendship between both countries.
Zhao commended the employees whose contributions, he said, had led to Nigeria’s development, especially in the area of infrastructure.
In a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja by the Chinese Embassy, Zhao stated that China and Nigeria have a long history of great friendship and solidarity, both of which have grown tremendously over the years.
Zhao further said such friendship and solidarity would continue to grow stronger, while also saying that both countries also gave each other invaluable support at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The coming October 1st marks the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Nigeria, as well as the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
‘Celebrating October 1st together constitutes a unique bond between China and Nigeria.
‘I wish to take this opportunity to thank Nigerian employees in local Chinese companies for your contributions to the beneficial bilateral cooperation.
‘With joint efforts, tangible results have been made in many areas, especially in the area of infrastructure.
‘Next February will mark the 50th anniversary of China-Nigeria diplomatic relations.
‘Let us work together to uplift China-Nigeria relations to new heights for the benefits of two peoples and country,’ Zhao said.
The Charge d’Affaires further said in response to COVID-19, China would continue to support Nigeria.
The Chinese envoy recalled that China was the first country to offer assistance to Nigeria when COVID-19 broke out in the country.
Zhao also stated that during the period, the Chinese government donated two large batches of medical supplies to Nigeria as aid, adding that the third batch, which has already arrived the country, will be delivered soon.
Zhao said the local Chinese community was extending its helping hand with the donation of masks and medical gloves, among other supplies and equipment.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Public Relations Director, Huawei Nigeria, Nininlola Fafore, commended the Chinese Government for its sustained support and development to different sectors in Nigeria.
Fafore also said as a Chinese company, Huawei was able to use its telecommunication expertise to ensure work continuity in a virtual space even at the height of the pandemic.
‘This is an opportunity and event to celebrate the national day of China on their 71st year and also the 60th year of Nigeria.
‘It is an important thing to understand how much we have come together with China. China has brought so much growth and development to different sectors in Nigeria, across several industries.
‘Without your support, I do not think we would have had such growth in ICT development that runs across other industries. This has been a great support,’ Fafore said.