Nigerian leaders assures China of support for investment plan

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On the sidelines of the Forum on China
and Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, President Muhammadu Buhari,
has assured existing and prospective Chinese investors of high-level
support for their investment plans in Nigeria.
 
In separate meetings with prospective
investors, President Buhari said Nigeria is endowed with abundant human
and material resources as well as a young population that is very
energetic and innovative and ready to work.
 
According to Buhari, Nigeria is endowed
with abundant human and material resources as well as a young population
that is very energetic, innovative and ready to work.
 
He, therefore, encouraged Chinese
companies and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the improved business
environment in Nigeria and invest in key sectors of the economy.
 
While acknowledging the contributions of
Chinese companies in developing the country’s infrastructure, the
president noted that there was still more to do.
 
According to Spokesman to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, 
many investors groups have had series of meetings on their investment plans for Nigeria.
 
The Ruyi Group, a leading Chinese
company, had met with the President with a plan to invest 200 million
dollars for an industrial park in Kano State, cotton farms in Funtua,
Katsina State, and textile and garment manufacturing
establishments in Aba, Abia, and Lagos.
 
The proposed investment will cover the
entire cotton value chain including farming, ginning, spinning, weaving
and power generation, to support the processes.
 
Ruyi Group Chairman, Mr Yafu Qui, told
President Buhari that they settled for Nigeria after one-and-a-half year
search for an African hub because of the country’s population, abundant
human and material resources and a ‘strong
leadership’ that had diversification agenda for the country.
 
Shehu said Buhari also received Prof.
Justin Yify Lin of the Peking University, a former World Bank Chief
Economist, currently serving as a consultant to the Nigerian government
on the setting up of Special Economic Zones.
 
In this follow-up meeting after the first
in 2016, Lin told the President that progress had been made with the
identification of the cotton value chain as a pilot for the setting up
of labour intensive industrial parks
 
He noted that the idea of the Ruyi Group as an investor was partly coming from their studies.
 
At a separate meeting, the Senior Vice
President of telecom giants, Huawei, Yi Xiang, announced that the
company would provide 10,000 Nigerians talent training in ICT each year.
 
He said Huawei was executing the second
phase of the National Information and Communications Technology Backbone
Project (NICTIB II) 328-million-dollar project, which was signed
between China and Nigeria earlier on Wednesday.
 
The telecom giant chief said of the
10,000 Nigerians, half of them would undergo intensive training on
Huawei certification programme, to empower them to work anywhere in the
world.
 
Mr Yi also told Buhari that the company
had trained 1,000 civil servants in Nigeria and would offer additional
1,000 training slots within and outside the government.
 
Responding, Buhari expressed satisfaction on the development of the ICT infrastructure backbone in the country.
 
He observed that it was consistent with
the administration’s determination to institute e-governance to help
fight corruption by increasing transparency.
 
The President added that the project
would promote better education in the rural areas and encouraged
Nigerian youths to optimize the opportunities of the new infrastructure
facilities.
 

Buhari also played host to top executives
of CITEC Group, who indicated interest on investing in real estate,
finance, infrastructure, agriculture and telecommunications in Nigeria,
Shehu said.