Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku has called for greater cooperation in information and cultural exchange between Nigeria and China to further deepen the bilateral ties between the two countries. The Minister made the call in Abuja when he received the Vice-Minister of Information, Peoples Republic of China, Mr. Li Wufeng on a courtesy visit.
Mr. Maku said though the relationship between Nigeria and China dated back since 1971, inter-personal contact, exchange of knowledge and free flow of information would solidify the bilateral ties.
He said: “The Ministry of Information of Nigeria will be looking forward to greater cooperation as you travel back home, so that we can develop this relationship and have a lot more of Chinese programmes here, which we are already getting through the StarTimes, but we will want to see more of our programmes on Chinese television and radio stations. This will help for our people to understand each other”.
Mr. Maku stated that already the StarTimes of China is partnering with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on digitisation and satellite broadcasting in more than 18 cities across the Nigeria.
The Minister urged the people of China to take advantage of the ongoing reforms, which have opened up the economy for investment in various critical sectors.
Mr. Maku told the Chinese delegation that President Goodluck Jonathan is modernising the Nigerian economy through systematic policies that have changed the nation’s deficit and challenges into opportunities for investment.
He expressed delight that Chinese investors have availed themselves of the economic opportunities in Nigeria and are now investing in power, railways and other sectors of the economy.
The Minister acknowledge that the sound economic relations have given rise to the increase in the volume of trade between the two countries from about $2 billion in the last ten years to about $12 billion annually.
He was hopeful that in the next ten years, China would overtake most of Nigeria’s traditional trading partners because of the interest and confidence China has in the Nigerian economy.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of China, Mr. Li Wufeng had called on the Federal Ministry of Information to promote mutual understanding between the citizens of the two countries as a deliberate way to strengthen their economic and cultural relations.
He announced that his ministry had just unveiled the project “Experience China in Nigeria,” and equally donated a China Gallery to the National Library of Nigeria so as to promote Chinese culture in the country.
Mr. Wufeng stated that the Chinese Ministry of Culture also launched a Culture Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, and expressed gratitude for the cooperation on the cultural projects, which he hoped would meet the expectations of the citizens of both countries.