We’re working with Nigeria to tackle insecurity — Chinese envoy

The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, on Tuesday said China is currently working with Nigeria to tackle insecurity.

This was as the Chinese government handed over a N2.8 billion agricultural demonstration centre to Nigeria.

Jianchun said his first interest as an ambassador is security, noting that he is working with security agencies to improve the current security situation in the country.

He said, “I want to let you know my biggest interest here in Nigeria is first of all security.

“So we are working with the Nigerian military sector and law enforcement and trying to see what we can do to improve the current situation.”

Speaking on the handing over centre, Jianchun stated that the project which kicked off on March 18, 2021 and was completed on  October 15, 2022, would help introduce advanced agricultural technology and attract agricultural investment in and out of Nigeria.

The demonstration centre includes agricultural technology training centre, agricultural technology research and service centre, agro-input and machinery exhibition, small scale agro-processing technology exhibition centre, power centre, photovoltaic pump water-saving irrigation system, farmland demonstration areas as well as an access road.

The envoy explained that Nigeria-China relationship can be strengthened through agriculture which he said could lift millions of people out of poverty.

Jianchun said, “Today’s event is really very important not only to Nigeria but also to the whole African continent. It is about technology, investment, high yield seeds, and  mechanisation. So the Chinese government is supporting Nigeria to develop modernised agriculture. We need machines and technology.

“This demonstration centre, does not only give opportunity to farmers and government officials, but it will help deepen and broaden relationships between both countries.

“China and Nigeria have no fundamental problems. We are just looking at how we can work together. One of the best ways of doing that is through agriculture which will lift millions of people out of poverty.”

In his keynote address, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, pledged that the Nigerian government would make good use of the centre for a more productive agricultural sector.

Shehuri who was represented by the acting permanent secretary of the ministry, Udoh Daniel, explained, “China and Nigeria share a long standing good friendship and cooperation and this has led to the witnessing of rapid and remarkable achievements among the two countries in the area of bi-lateral co-operation in trade and other fields of life.

“Nigeria is noted to be a large and leading agricultural economy and therefore has a pressing need for an agricultural technology and development centre especially for the youths.

“This is what the Chinese government has seen that led to the establishment of the centre that is being handed over today.

“It is hoped that the centre local farmers using an advanced technology will enhance their productivity and wellbeing. In addition, the centre will be fully integrated with local agricultural production to enable agricultural technicians adopt faster.

“The centre will help the beneficiaries to move from small scale production model to specialised production agricultural model and also from extensive farming to intensive production. I assure you that the Nigerian government will make good use of the centre for a more productive agricultural sector.”

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