Federal Government has disclosed its intention to partner with China in developing Nigeria’s commercial agricultural sector.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc Sonny Echono, disclosed this recently while receiving the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Gu Xiaojie, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, the development model of China best suites Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) aimed at commercialising the country’s agriculture.
He explained that Nigeria was working to improve its milling capacity for rice and cassava in order to reduce the country’s current demand for foreign produce. Echono informed the Chinese delegates that Nigeria needed support in the establishment of ranches, poultry and textile. While urging investors from China to in- Omos Oyinbode, Asaba Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has announced a financial assistance of N35m to the two hundred and thirty five fish farmers vest in these sectors, he identified infrastructural development as another area where Chinese investors could come in and invest, as he noted that Nigeria was working hard towards increasing productivity.
The UNION gathered that the bilateral relations between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China have expanded on growing bilateral trade and strategic cooperation. China is considered one of Nigeria’s closest allies and partners. China is also one of Nigeria’s important trading and export partners.
Bilateral trade reached US$3 billion in 2006 – up from $384 million in 1998. During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit in 2006, China secured four oil drilling licenses and agreed to invest $4 billion in oil and infrastructure development projects in Nigeria, and both nations agreed to a four-point plan to improve bilateral relations – a key component of which wasto expand trade and investments in agriculture, telecommunications, energy and infrastructure development. Furthermore, China agreed to buy a controlling stake in the Kaduna oil refinery that would produce 110,000 barrels per day (17,000 m3/d). Nigeria also promised to give preference to Chinese oil firms for contracts for oil exploration in the Niger Delta and Chad Basin. In 2006, China also agreed to grant a loan of $1 billion to Nigeria to help it upgrade and modernize its railway networks.
– PerSec. FMARD, Arc Sonny Echono