Nigeria and China trade hits $14.9b

Solomon Chung, Abuja

Nigeria and China agree to boost trade

The Nigeria and China trade volume has hit 14.9 billion dollars in 2015, as both agreed to have the existing trade imbalance settled.

Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed disclosed this when the representative of Startimes of China paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja on Monday.

Wooing investors
“Nigeria is working very hard to woo more Chinese investors especially, those who are willing to set up labour intensive industries inside Nigeria,’’ he stated.

“At our recent meeting as a country, we have signed up a concept note involving the two countries. In that agreement, China has agreed to start some sort of visit and cooperation in Africa.         

“We have agreed on the development of infrastructure, for example, having a solid and functional solar traffic system in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. The Calabar-Lagos , Lagos, Kano rail project as well as the Abuja light rail project to be fast tracked,” Mohammed explained.

Also to address the trade imbalance, the Minister told the Chinese delegation to remove the 5% tax on any good imported from China to Nigeria, especially all agricultural produce.

“In a bid to encourage Chinese investors and interest, this administration has zero tolerance for corruption and to that effect, we shall kill corruption as a government and create an environment that will make business thrive,” he stressed.

Digital switch over
Another project of the Information and Culture Ministry was that of the digital switch over in broadcasting and China has agreed tom work with Nigeria to see the success of the project.

The Minister stated that the upcoming National reorientation campaign in Nigeria and the digital switch over projects were projects that would engage the two countries fruitfully.

Mohammed reiterated his position that the digital switch over was irreversible and unstoppable.

“Once we achieve digitisation, piracy will go, broadcasting would act as a catalyst for growth in our country and the continent at large.

 “Digitisation will change the way we perceived and understand broadcasting. It will be a catalyst to unleash the creative potentials of the youths in Nigeria,” he further said.

The Vice President of Startimes ,Zhao Yuegin said the company was ready to work with Nigeria for the success of the digitisation project.

“We know that the Minister’s attention on digitisation is awesome, we intend to work with him in every step of the journey to see it come to reality,” Yuegin added.