Nigeria-China partnership strategic to Africa’s development -Shettima
Nigeria’s vice president, Kashim Shettima, has stressed the need to scale up Nigeria’s strategic partnership with China, which he said was key to Africa’s development.
Shettima pointed out that since assuming office, President Bola Tinubu has strategically tinkered with the country’s foreign policy to drive and boost investors’ confidence.
To augment this, the vice president, according to a statement issued by his media assistant, Stanley Nkwocha, noted that Tinubu has walked the talk by creating levelers for the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Shettima, who was representing Tinubu at the ongoing Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing, China, stated this on Tuesday, when he was hosted by his People’s Republic of China counterpart, Vice President Han Zheng, at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, Beijing.
He expressed gratitude for the warm reception accorded his delegation, noting that Nigeria and China, having celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations in 2021, must now take their destinies into their own hands.
Declaring that the rest of Africa stood to gain from a successful Nigeria, the vice president said, “Our mutually beneficial relationship will be further enhanced and upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership.”
He added: “Nigeria is China’s second-largest trading partner in Africa; it is the largest economy in Africa and the most populous country in the African continent. The Belt and Road Initiative is a big beautiful concept that can be deployed to achieve this.”
Shettima, drew attention to the burgeoning relationship between Nigeria and China, saying both countries stood to gain mutually from their friendship.
On his part, Vice President Zheng, assured his Nigerian counterpart of continued partnership with Nigeria, hinting that President Jinping’s meeting with Shettima would enhance political mutual trust, advance practical cooperation and better develop the bilateral relation between the two countries.
The vice president was later a guest at the State Banquet hosted by President Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan.
Attention and focus would shift to the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Initiative Forum at the Great Hall in Beijing billed for today.
Shettima was expected to proceed to the National Convention Centre to deliver his Paper titled, “Digital Economy As A New Source Of Growth”.
A bilateral meeting with the Chinese President and Prime Minister of Pakistan was also on the Vice President’s itinerary, just as he and other members of his delegation would be presiding over meetings with management of top construction, technology, finance and communication giants in China.
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