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Nigeria, China to cement ties

05 July 2013, 07:27

Abuja - Nigeria and China are scheduled to sign four major agreements next week to strengthen relations co-operation between the two counties.

The agreements, which are poised to boost the growth of such sectors as banking, public infrastructure, oil and gas, power supply, agriculture, communications and tourism, will be signed during President Goodluck Jonathan's five-day state visit to China.

Reuben Abati, Nigeria Presidential Spokesperson, confirmed the agreements.

“Bilateral relations between Nigeria and China will receive a significant boost next week with the signing of at least four major agreements between the two countries when President Goodluck Jonathan leads a high-powered team of state governors, members of the National Assembly and key ministers on a state visit to China, which begins on Tuesday, July 9," Abati said from Abuja.

He said the agreements which will be signed after high-level talks between President Jonathan’s delegation and President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other senior Chinese government officials.

The deals include an Agreement on Defence Cooperation between Nigeria and China, an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, an Agreement on Finance for the Zungeru Power Plant and Airport Terminals and an Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports.

Agreements for the Central Bank of Nigeria to invest in China’s Inter-Bank Bond Market through the Peoples’ Bank of China, and an agreement for the prevention of the theft, illicit import and export of cultural property will also be discussed.

Jonathan will also seek additional Chinese investment for the Mambila Hydro Electric Project, rail modernisation, road construction and agricultural development.

The developments will consolidate the already cordial political, trade and economic relations between Nigeria and China.

The two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1971.

Relations grew closer as a result of the international isolation and Western condemnation of Nigeria's military regimes between 1970s-1998.

Nigeria has since become an important source of oil and petroleum for China's rapidly-growing economy and Nigeria is looking to China for help in achieving high economic growth.

- CAJ News


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