Nigeria indicates more interest in China's railway offers

Updated: 2016-02-02 09:01


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LAGOS - Nigeria has expressed its growing interest in China's expertise to help build a world class railway networks in the west African country.

Speaking at a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in Ethiopia on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari said he had ordered a review of several railway transport projects signed by the previous administration with the Chinese government.

He said the Chinese government was very generous to Nigeria on the projects signed with the previous government because they agreed to pay 85 percent of the project.

But, the Nigerian government was unable to meet up with its counterpart funding of 15 percent, so the Chinese government was unable to make any impact on the project, he said.

The president said he had directed the Ministers of Transportation, Finance, and Power, Works and Housing, to revisit the agreements and explore ways of re-approaching the Chinese government for assistance.

Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Gu Xiaojie met with Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi a few days ago in Abuja to exchange views on cooperation in investment and financing areas.

He said that 2016 is the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Nigeria.

The envoy told the ministers that China is willing to take this opportunity to strengthen cooperation in investment and financing areas so as to further promote the development of bilateral relations.

He added Nigeria is a major destination of China's investment in Africa and uses China's favorable loan in a large scale.

On her part, Adeosun praised China for its longstanding support for Nigeria's economic and social development, especially in infrastructure construction, and wished to draw on China's experience.

The minister added that the Nigerian side wishes to further enhance cooperation in investment and financing with China to facilitate the implementation of existing and planning projects, and bring concrete benefits to peoples of the two countries.

In the same vein, Amaechi thanked China for its support to Nigeria's economic development and improvement of people's livelihood.

He said China and Nigeria enjoy great advantages of economic complementary and potential for cooperation, noting that fruitful results have been yielded in the areas like infrastructure and investment.

Akin Fijabi, a public analyst, in an interview with Xinhua expressed optimism that the cooperation between both countries would continue to be on a win-win basis.

He appealed to the Nigeria government to create enabling environment to make cooperation between the two countries continue to thrive.