Saturday, April 9, 2016 1:09 pm
As Nigerians wallow in a crippling shortage of petrol and electricity, President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja tomorrow for China for a weeklong visit.
Femi Adesina, the president’s media adviser said the working visit is aimed at securing greater support from Beijing for the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure, especially in the power, roads, railways, aviation, water supply and housing sectors.
Nigeria has since late February been faced with a crisis of power blackout and crippling fuel shortage, that have adversely affected social and business lives.
Adesina said President Buhari’s talks with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples’ Congress, Zhang Dejiang will also focus on strengthening bilateral cooperation in line with the Federal Government’s agenda for the rapid diversification of the Nigerian economy, with emphasis on agriculture and solid minerals development.
It is expected that in the course of the visit, several new agreements and memoranda of understanding to boost trade and economic relations between Nigeria and China will be concluded and signed.
The agreements include a Framework Agreement between the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples’ Republic of China to Boost Industrial Activities and Infrastructural Development in Nigeria.
Others are a Framework Agreement between the Federal Ministry of Communications and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
In keeping with his administration’s prioritization of economic diversification and industrialisation to boost employment, President Buhari and his delegation will tour the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone to gain more useful insights and understanding of the policies that underpinned China’s astronomical economic growth in recent years.
The President, whose entourage will include some state governors as well as the Ministers of Agriculture, Water Resources, Transport, Defence, Power, Works & Housing, Industry, Trade & Investment, Federal Capital Territory, Science & Technology and Foreign Affairs, will also open a China-Nigeria Business/Investment Forum in Beijing and meet with members of the Nigerian Community in China before returning to Abuja at the weekend.