Nigeria Government has been urged to take advantage of the new China – Africa joint cooperation to promote industrialization and made -Nigeria project to China and the outside world.
The Chinese Ambassador in Nigeria, Zhou Pinjian, made the call on Monday in Abakaliki when he paid an official visit to Ebonyi State.
Pingjian who stressed that the Chinese Government as a matter of policy, has opened its door wider to other countries for coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit, added that China was a reliable partner for industrialization and economic development.
He explained that the China’s economic openness policy which emanated from its Beijing Conference, last September gave rise to promotion of joint construction, joint building initiative which Nigeria and other African Countries could key into for mutual benefits.
Commending Governor David Umahi’s passion for economic emancipation of Ebonyi State through infrastructural revolution and industrialization, Pingjian assured of the readiness of government of China to collaborate with the State to achieve its desired results.
He beckoned on Ebonyi State government in particular and Nigeria in general, to take advantage of the China International Import and Export as well as the annual country fare to launch its products into the international market.
He said: “We are looking forward to see more made- in -Nigeria products for China through that platform.
“China is ready to do more with our partners in Nigeria to pursue economic development.
“What is dear to you is also dear to us.”
Governor Umahi in his response, acknowledged the immense contributions of China in both infrastructural and technological development of the State in particular and Nigeria in general.
According to him, there were over 10 Chinese Construction companies handling projects in Ebonyi State with over 20 engaged in mining activities.
He revealed that the State Government and Chinese Investors have advanced plans to set up a joint Solar Panel Manufacturing factory in the State while currently proposing factories for Batteries.
He solicited the ambassador to get more of the Chinese investors into the areas of Lead and Zinc processing in Ebonyi State for enhanced revenue as well as provide materials for the proposed industries.
He added that the State government would soon sponsor 26 Ebonyians to China, two from each of the 13 local government areas, to acquire technological knowledge for replication in the State.
Umahi said: “The Chinese people undoubtedly, are our greatest partners in our developmental efforts.
“I am very happy with their commitment and sincerity, especially in our infrastructural development.
“When we started, we started with China Zhonghao in the area of bridge, Flyover construction, and as soon as they were doing that, we informed them of the need to change our road construction technology to concrete pavement and they brought in their concrete Paver and some for us at a far more cheaper price than the American speck which we earlier knew, even though they were of same quality.
“These have helped us engage out local contractors and engineers in the new technology.
“That is the secret of the success we have recorded in concrete road construction and we owe that to you.
“We are engaging the Chinese in the setting up of a factory that would manufacture Solar Panels and we need this Lead and Zinc to do that.
“We are expected to conclude discussion by April whereby we need to pay them US$4 million and they will come and set up a joint venture on Solar Panel Industry.”
Umahi further solicited China’s cooperation in the areas of Agricultural development: rice, cassava, yam and Mushroom productions.
Ambassador pingjian who was hosted to a State Banquet in the Governor’s Lodge was received on arrival by the Deputy Governor, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe at the Executive Council chambers.