The trade volume between Nigeria and China stood at over N1 trillion in 2012 with a deficit of N270 billion against Nigeria.
Mr Samuel Ortom, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, who disclosed this to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, said the Federal Government was working hard to close the gap.
Our correspondent reports that Ortom spoke when a trade delegation from China, led by Mr Wonming Wang, the President of Africa Investment Network, visited him in his office.
Ortom said the delegation’s visit was in response to his visit to China to shop for more investors as part of efforts to correct the deficit.
“We are working round the clock to close the gap and this is why this Chinese delegation is here today.
“This is directly the result of my trade fair visit to China, specifically to Guangshou, where I met Mr Wang and these investors you are seeing here today.
“I told them about the potentials we have in our country. I am happy that they are here today to see things for themselves, and they have confirmed it.
“One of the challenges they have had are the over-exaggerated negative media reports that portray Nigeria as a horrible place to come.
“But they have come and seen things for themselves. Now, they have positive things to talk about and when they get back to China, I am sure they will tell their other colleagues.’’
Ortom said that Nigeria remained the first investment destination in Africa, citing the latest World Investment Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
According to the report, released on Wednesday, Nigeria recorded a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow of 7.03 dollars in 2012 to retain its number one position for the second time in two years.
South Africa, Ghana and Egypt followed with FDI inflows of 4.572, 3.295 and 2.798 dollars respectively.
“The opportunities are there, and I keep saying that today we have a president who is willing to overcome the country’s unemployment challenges.
“The only way we can do it is when we are able to establish businesses and industries that will give massive employment to our people,’’ Ortom said.
Wonming said that the delegation was in Nigeria to seek the minister’s assistance on behalf of Chinese companies and businesses, who have indicated interest to invest in the country.
He identified the areas of interest as auto mobile, marble, medical equipment, solar energy, building materials and housing construction, among others.
“I am here to ask for the assistance of the minister to bring Chinese investments to Nigeria because you are the top investment destination in Africa for investment.
“In China there are thousands of factories and companies that want to come to Nigeria.
“The areas of investment are many, and we consider the assistance of this esteemed ministry as very crucial.’’
Bello’s Gunmen After My Life, Family -Kogi Dep Gov
Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba yesterday alleged that the governor of the state has sent gunmen after his life.
Acbuba called on the inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Army and other security personnel to safeguard his life, family members and his aides.
Achuba, who spoke with newsmen at his official residence in Lokoja said, “From all information at my disposal, the governor has mobilised gunmen to attack me.
“I want the police, SSS, IGP to know that if anything should happen to me, my family and aides, the governor should be held responsible.”
The deputy governor likewise called on the President to beam his searchlight on the state.
LGAs Responsible For Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes In Nigeria -UN
Zebulon Takwa, Peace and Development Adviser, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, says poor Local Government administration is largely responsible for farmers-herdsmen clashes in Nigeria
Takwa, who gave the position in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Abuja, expressed concerns over “weak operational structures at the local government level’’.
He said that issues that were supposed to be addressed by local administration authority were left unattended to over a long period.
The UN official noted that most of the issues that escalated to crises ought to have been resolved at the local level by the authorities, traditional and religious leaders.
He decried the situation where structures for such prompt amicable settlement were not effective enough to prevent conflicts.
Takwa condemned the situation where most local government officials migrated to urban centres instead of concentrating on their primary responsibilities of settling crises, developing infrastructure and social amenities, among others.
Reprisal Killing: Taraba Police, Tiv, Junkun Differ On Casualities
The Police Command in Taraba State has said that only one individual was killed in what appeared to be a revenge for the alleged murder of a Junkun man yesterday.
While the Tiv claimed that no fewer than nine of their kinsmen were killed in Takum town, Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State on Tuesday, the Police said the figure was not true.
Takum is the hometown of Governor DariusIshaku who turned 65 today.
Multiple sources in Takum said trouble started yesterday morning when a Jukun man was killed on his farm along Takum-Wukari road, and irate Jukun youths in Takum went on the rampage, killing at least eight people in the town.
A resident of Takum, Mr. Nathaniel Jato, in a telephone interview with our Correspondent said the eight people killed in Takum town were all Tiv resident in the town.
“We counted at least eight dead bodies around General Hospital Junction and Zenith Bank around the Wukari roundabout.
“We were told that many people were killed around Rimi Primary school area, but there is tension, so we can’t go there.
“The Caretaker Chairman of Takum Local Government Council, ShibanTikari, has assured us that the situation will not escalate, but I am afraid the situation might degenerate if adequate security measures are not put in place,” he lamented.
Jato, who said there was threat that their houses would be attacked in the night, called on Governor Darius Ishaku and security authorities to quickly restore peace in the area to pave way for proper investigation of the matter.
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