President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria cannot afford to lose the enormous potential in China-Nigeria economic and trade cooperation.
On trade and economic ties, Buhari said his government remained committed to contracts signed by Goodluck Jonathan, his predecessor, with Chinese firms on railway, roads and hydroelectric dam projects.
He referred to the bilateral relationship as a development opportunity that Nigeria cannot afford to lose.
Speaking to Xinhua, Chinese news agency, prior to his state visit to China, Buhari said Nigeria and China enjoyed vast opportunities in cooperation in such fields as agriculture, mining, electric power generation, and railway and road construction.
“China has the technical and financial capacity and the experience of development while retaining the goodwill to help Nigeria. So, really, this is an opportunity Nigeria cannot afford to lose,” Buhari said.
“In spite of being the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria is still badly in need of these projects, which China, as the world’s second-largest economy, has the capacity to undertake.”
He expressed Nigeria’s readiness to expand the development of industries, especially in manufacturing and textile industries, and speed up infrastructure construction, which presents huge opportunities for both China and Nigeria.
“The opportunities that present themselves for us … are virtually limitless,” he said, adding that 62 per cent of the Nigerian population is under the age of 35 and the jobless rate among this group is very high.
“The best way to tackle unemployment is to develop agriculture and the mining industry, which China has the capacity to help. Some Chinese enterprises have already been involved in the mining industry in Nigeria’s northern provinces.”