Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
In continuation of its project to provide satellite televisions for 1,000 villages in Nigeria, under the Chinese Government-sponsored ‘Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages Project,’ the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, converged on Gidanajiya Orozo, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, to bring the world to the doorsteps of the inhabitants.
The project carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Culture and NTA-Star TV Network Limited Nigeria, witnessed the presence of the Chief Executive Officer of NTA-Star TV Network Limited Nigeria, David Zhang, the Director, China Cultural Center, Abuja, Mr Li Xuda and the Head of Department of Cultural Industries and Heritage, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Lizzy Ihezue-Iwuamadi, amongst others.
The event took place under the auspices of the Developing Cultural Industries Project in Nigeria/Celebration of 2019 International Day for Children Activity, with various presentations such as cultural performance from pupils of Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School, Gidanajiya Orozon, the distribution of school materials such as school bags, stationery, books, football and basketball to pupils to enhance their educational standard, including a tour of places StarTimes installed television decoders.
Zhang said the project came from a commitment made by Chinese President Xi Jinping that China would implement access to satellite television for 10,000 villages across Africa, as one of the major cooperation programmes to boost cooperation between China and Africa:
“Out of the 10,000 villages, Nigeria alone will get 1,000 and StarTimes is playing a great role as the contractor for this project across all the African countries that will benefit.
Zhang further said some of the works StarTimes carried out in the villages included installation of two solar power projector televisions for the community, digital television sets, 20 satellite dish and decoders where villagers can watch more than 100 international and local channels, all for free:
“For us at StarTimes, it makes us truly happy as a company and a people to be able to work together successfully with both the Chinese and Nigerian governments and to put long lasting smiles on the faces of the children and adults that would benefit from the exposure they get from the access to satellite television.”
Li said it was friendship that brought China and Nigeria together, became close friends and support each other on the international stage.
Li said: “It is friendship that gave me the opportunity to visit this school not so long ago. During that memorable site visit, I made my decision that we should work with the Ministry of Information and Culture of Nigeria and StarTimes to do something for the village and its school. It is also friendship that called me to come here once again. My feeling now is just like going home. When I saw our villagers, teachers, students, I felt I saw my family members once again.”
He explained that the items donated by the Government of China were to assist the students in their studies and contribute to the development of their education, noting that in the past months, the embassy did the necessary preparation work to donate the items.
For Ihezue-Iwuamadi, the motivating factor was to key into the Federal Government’s empowerment, poverty alleviation and job creation opportunities for the grassroots, saying that government built the venue of the event as skills acquisition and capacity building centre: “So, from time to time, we come here to train the women and the youths in various trades. You can see that we have rooms for all the trades.”
One of the students of LEA Primary School, Gidanajiya Orozo, Peace Musa, expressed gratitude to the Government of China and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for making the gesture possible.