Cui Jianchun and President Muhammadu Buhari
China is concerned that Nigerians, many living below the poverty line, continue to grapple with grinding penury.
“We have lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty in China, and in Nigeria, there are 200 million with 100 million living below the poverty line,” said Cui Jianchun, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria. “This is my great concern and efforts that make me try to do things for Nigeria, and the most important thing now is agriculture.”
But Mr Cui added, “So, I’m confident that Nigeria-China can build a strong, prosperous country in the coming 20 years, and this is not only about lip service, neither is it about slogans as long as two great nations work together from the agriculture sectors to industry.”
The Chinese ambassador noted that China accomplished the first step of its centenary goal last year: eradicating extreme poverty and building a moderately prosperous society.
The diplomat stated this on Tuesday when he delivered a China-aid Nigeria Agricultural Demonstration Centre project worth ¥44,100,000 (N2.8 billion) to the federal government to contribute to Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
Mr Cui, who handed over the project, said the centre would provide opportunities to farmers and government officials and deepen and broaden the two countries’ relationship.
According to Mustapha Shehuri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, China and Nigeria share a long-standing friendship.
“In these hard times, it is rare to receive this huge donation, and I want to appreciate our friendship with China which has led to the witnessing of rapid and remarkable achievement among (sic) the two countries in the areas of bilateral cooperation,” Mr Shehuri explained.
The agric minister added, “Nigeria is noted to be a large and leading agricultural economy. Therefore, it has a pressing need for agricultural technology and development centre. This project has provided and transferred advanced technology to Nigeria.”