– China has agreed to invest in Nigeria following a visit from its foreign affairs minister to Nigeria
– The country said this was in addition to earlier investments
– Nigeria has withdrawn diplomatic relationship with Taiwan and agreed to the One China policy
Wang Yi who is the Chinese foreign minister has promised that the country is investing $40 billion as part of the plan to deepen relationship with Nigeria.
He made this comment during a press briefing with his Nigerian counterpart, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama on Wednesday, January 11 adding that this money was in addition to $22 billion projects already invested.
Yi said: “China has already invested or financed a total number of $22billion projects here in Nigeria, another $23billion projects are on-going. In addition, we are also following up another over $40billion of investments, which are in the pipeline.”
Earlier, Yi met with President Muhammadu Buhari where the president promised that all agreements with China will be honoured.
He said: ‘‘This administration is very serious about infrastructural development. We want rail, road, power, skill acquisition for our people. We ought to have developed beyond this point, but we neglected infrastructure when we had the resources.
‘‘Now, we have to collaborate with you, and we will keep our side of the bargain in all the agreements we have signed.”
President Buhari had travelled to China in April on the invitation of President Xi Jinping and they signed memoranda of understanding on investing in Nigeria.
The Chinese foreign minister said relationship with Nigeria was strong and said his visit was to implement the important agreement and cooperation reached between the Chinese and Nigerian presidents.
He said: “In order to achieve further development and prosperity of the two countries, we need to strengthen our political mutual trust, deepen complementarily between our developments, further expand practical cooperation and deepen our strategic partnership.”
Onyeama commended the Chinese government for the periodic visit to Africa.
“You know of course that the Peoples Republic of China has been meeting regularly with Africa and the forum for discussing technical cooperation with African countries, the acronym is FOCAC
“The last one took place in South Africa last December and the government of China made available a total of $60b for Africa and a number of countries, including Nigeria are in discussions to see how much of that could be used to assist in the various projects that we have in this country.”
“In area of infrastructure, which is one of the priority areas in the diversification programme of this government from oil to agriculture and infrastructure, the Chinese government has been showing a lot of cooperation with us.”
He said the president’s visit to China further opened up more areas of cooperation as the country has invested between $60b and $80b in Nigeria.
In fostering better relationship with China, Nigeria withdrew all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country and withdrew accreditation from Taiwan’s nationals.
The Taiwanese office in Abuja will be closed and moved to Lagos as a trade mission with skeletal staff.
In a joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both Nigeria and China, the two countries affirmed their territorial sovereignty while also affirming the One China policy.
“The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes that there is only one China in the world; that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.
“The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reiterates not to have any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan, and supports all efforts made by the Chinese government to realize national unification”.
Onyeama said: “On the issue of building trust, the international community has embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue.
“We adhere to it completely and there is no ambiguity at all.”