From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the support Nigeria was getting from China, including building of rails, roads, powers, defence and others was helping the country to reduce its infrastructure deficits.
The president stated this at State House, Abuja, while receiving in audience State Councillor and Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China, Mr. Wang Yi.
“We thank China for its support to us in various ways – in building of rail, road, power, defence, and many others. You are helping us to reduce our severe infrastructural deficits, and we are glad. There cannot be sustainable development without infrastructural development,” he said.
Buhari stated this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, where he pledged that Nigeria would continue to honour its obligations in its relationship with China.
Yi applauded what he called “mutual trust and sound personal friendship” between President Buhari and President Xi Jinping of China, noting that “it has guided the bilateral relationship between our two countries.”
He said China loves to begin the year’s diplomatic work from Africa, and Nigeria was chosen as the first port of call in 2021, since the year marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has opened talks with China to have access to COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria.
Nigeria and China also signed an agreement to facilitate the monitoring and coordination of different bilateral pacts existing between both countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeamamade the disclosure yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen shortly after a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.
Yi is in Nigeria on a working visit.
Onyeama recalled that China was of immense assistance to Nigeria at the advent of the pandemic, noting that the donation of protective equipment greatly affected the nation in the fight against COVID-19.
The minister said at this point when countries were discovering vaccines and China being one of them, Nigeria was engaging the country in the area of access to the vaccine.
“We have received a lot of support from China in the area of personal protective equipment that they were very quick to provide us with and of course, with the vaccine discoveries now. China is also one of those countries that have been able to discover vaccines for COVID-19, so we are also engaging with China to also help with regards to access to vaccines for our people,” he said.
He said that they also discussed health issues and the global pandemic.