Abuja - The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs 1, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, has called for increased Chinese direct investment in Nigeria.
Onwuliri made the call on Wednesday in Abuja when she received a Chinese business delegation currently on a 12-day investment exploratory tour of Nigeria.
She noted that the annual bilateral trade between Nigeria and China had maintained a steady increase from $2 billion in 2002 to over $13 billion in 2012.
The minister told the 21-man team, comprising chief executives of leading Chinese conglomerates, that there were boundless opportunities for fresh investments in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a foremost investor’s destination; the largest country on the continent and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
“With a population of over 167 million people, any business that you want to bring on board will have enough patronage, and the return of investment is one of the highest in the world,’’ she said.
The minister said that the Chinese had notified her of their interest to invest billions of naira in several areas of the economy in the next few months.
According to her, the Chinese showed interest in power, agriculture, real estate, geological exploration, housing construction, railway and mining.
The leader of the delegation, Zhou Dewen, said that more Chinese companies were interested in investing in Nigeria because of its huge natural resources and returns on investment.
He said since the arrival of the delegation on Sunday, they had had fruitful discussions with governments and business associations.
To affirm their interest in investing Nigeria, Dewen said the business delegation would visit Ogun, Imo, Abia, Benue, Enugu and Nasarawa states.
Dr Tony Chime, regional Vice President, China-Africa Investment Club, said members of the delegation were "people who control over 500 companies in China".-
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.