President Muhammadu Buhari says sustainable development is impossible when a country is hobbled by severe infrastructural deficits, thanking China for its support in the building of rail, road, power, defence and other infrastructural facilities.
Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman in a statement, said Buhari stated this while receiving in audience Mr Wang Yi, the State Councillor and Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China, at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Buhari said: “We thank China for its support to us in various ways; in the building of rail, road, power, defence, and many others. You are helping us to reduce our severe infrastructural deficits, and we are glad.
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“There cannot be sustainable development without infrastructural development.’’
The president pledged that Nigeria would continue to honour its obligations in the relationship with the People’s Republic of China, “as you are making a big difference, which we appreciate very much.”
In his remarks, Wang Yi applauded what he called the “mutual trust and sound personal friendship” between President Buhari and President Xi Jinping of China, noting that “it has guided the bilateral relationship between our two countries.”
According to him, China loves to begin the year’s diplomatic work from Africa, and Nigeria was chosen as the first port of call in 2021 since the year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The State Councillor described Nigeria as a country with great regional and international influence, adding: “We trust, understand and support each other. We will continue to value each other.”
He added that his country would encourage Chinese companies to increase their investments in Nigeria, while China would also readily share experience and techniques in areas like digital economy, defence, and many others.