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Nigeria’s partnership with China generates $5b Projects- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari(Middle) with the Honorable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi( 1st from right) and other dignitaries at the China-Africa Forum in China.

By Garba Shehu
Nigeria’s partnership with
China through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has resulted in the
execution of vital infrastructure projects across the country, valued at over
$5 billion in the last three years of the current administration.

President Muhammadu Buhari
disclosed this on Tuesday in Beijing at the FOCAC Round Table meeting, attended
by African leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Highlighting specific
projects under FOCAC, the President said through the Chinese support, Nigeria
has impressively addressed significant challenges in the areas of
infrastructure, human capacity development, power, transport, agriculture and
humanitarian assistance.

According to him, ”For
Nigeria, our partnership with China through the FOCAC platform, has resulted in
the construction of the first urban rail system in West Africa. This $500
million project in Abuja was commissioned in July this year.”

The President also cited
the construction and operation of the first rail system in Africa that uses
modern Chinese standards and technology.

“This 180km rail line that
connects Abuja and Kaduna was commissioned two years ago at a cost of $500
million. Today the rail line is functioning efficiently with no issues –
indeed, a sign that Chinese technology is world class,” he noted.

President Buhari said
that, ”Nigeria is leveraging Chinese funding to execute $3.4 billion worth
of projects at various stages of completion. These include the upgrading of
airport terminals, the Lagos – Kano rail line, the Zungeru hydroelectric power
project and fibre cables for our internet infrastructure.

”Furthermore, less than 3
months ago, Nigeria signed an additional $1billion loan from China for
additional rolling stock for the newly constructed rail lines as well as road
rehabilitation and water supply projects

The Nigerian leader said
that the aforementioned projects had demonstrated the high level of consistency
and commitment China has shown in boosting its relations with African countries
under the umbrella of FOCAC.

”I am optimistic that this
Summit will offer new opportunities that would build on these past
achievements,” he said, adding that, ”Nigeria will continue to support the
FOCAC initiative and also seek to key into the Belt and Road Initiative as an
additional Chinese mechanism to build further cooperation in our quest for
infrastructural and economic development.”

President Buhari dispelled
insinuations about the so-called debt trap by Chinese government on developing
countries, insisting that Nigeria would be able to re-pay the loans.
”These vital infrastructure
projects synchronize perfectly with our Economic Recovery and Growth
Plan.  Some of the debts incurred are self-liquidating.  Our country
is able to re-pay loans as and when due in keeping with our policy of fiscal
prudence and sound housekeeping,” he said.

While applauding China for
its overall commitment to the ideals of FOCAC, the President acknowledged that
since the launch of the Forum in 2000, China and Africa had striven to
implement the declarations and follow-up action plans for the benefit of both

President Buhari also
commended President Jinping, his Government and people for successfully hosting
the Beijing Summit aimed at further strengthening China-Africa partnership.
Garba Shehu is a Senior Special Assistant to the President, (Media & Publicity).

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