By Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja—The Chinese Government, yesterday pledged N2 billion (50 million Yuan) in military equipment and training in support of Nigeria’s counter insurgency operations in the North East.
The Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjuan made the disclosure during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding MoU, between Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali and Dr. Pingjuan on behalf of the People’s Republic of China at the ministry of Defence.
According to him, “In September 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari led a Nigerian delegation to China to attend the Africa-Chinese forum. At the forum, he held bilateral discussions with President Xi Jinping on several areas of cooperation particularly in the area of military to military relations.
“At the meeting in China, an initial pledge of 6million Yuan was made in support of the Nigerian military. Now, another 50million Yuan (N2billion) has been made to support the counter insurgency operation of the military”
While noting that Nigeria and China bilateral relations had continued to grow from strength to strength in economic and other spheres of endeavours, Dr. Pingjuan said implementation of the peace and security agreements contained in the MoU would further cement this relationship.
Responding, Dan Ali commended the Chinese government for standing by Nigeria in the fight against terrorism noting that the cankerworm had today become a global problem
He said: “Insurgency is no longer a country’s problem alone. It is now a global problem. So countries must join hands together to fight and defeat this problem”.
Reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to a strong and lasting relationship with China, the Defence minister expressed the hope that the military to military cooperation and relationship will be pursued with more vigour.
It would be recalled that in recent past, the Nigerian government has purchased military aircraft, like the F7Ni supersonic jet fighters which the Nigerian Air force have been using to prosecute the war on terror as well as some Naval warships NNS Centenary and NNS Unity which has boosted Nigerian Navy’s operations in the nations’ maritime domain.