Chinese President Xi Jinping Offers Nigeria $15m Grant To Boost Agric

Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered $15 million dollars financial assistance to the Nigerian government to boost its agricultural sector.

The grant does not fall under any loans deal and it is expected to be used for the establishment of 50 Agricultural Demonstration Farms across the country.

Both countries also agreed to strengthen military and civil service exchanges as part of a larger capacity-building engagement.

China also offered to raise its scholarship awards to Nigerian students from about 100 to 700 annually.

In addition, 1,000 other Nigerians are to be given vocational and technical training by China annually.

China also expressed an interest in setting up major projects in Nigeria such as refineries, power plants, mining companies, textile manufacturing and food processing industries as soon as the Federal Government provides the enabling environment.

President Jinping applauded the war against corruption being waged by President Buhari, assuring that Nigeria would always have a special place in the affairs of the Peoples Republic of China.

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Both Presidents capped their talks with the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding by Nigeria and China.

The agreements include a “Framework Agreement Between the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples Republic of China.”

Others were a “Memorandum of Understanding on Aviation Cooperation between the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China” and a “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation”.

A “Mandate Letter Between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Central Bank of Nigeria on Renminbi (RMB) Transactions was also signed.

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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that technical committees be established to finalise discussions on the new joint Nigeria/China rail, power, manufacturing, agricultural and solid mineral projects.

Buhari gave the directive on Tuesday in Beijing following fruitful discussions between his delegation and high-ranking Chinese government officials led by President Xi Jinping.

A statement by Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity indicated that the technical committees are to conclude their assignments before the end of next month.

President Buhari had at the talks welcomed China’s readiness to assist Nigeria in her bid to rapidly industrialise and join the world’s major economies.

Jinping acknowledged that Nigeria’s chosen path of development through economic diversification was the best way to go.