Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has extolled the Communist Party of China (CPC) for the remarkable achievements it has recorded in the various spheres of China since it was founded 100 years ago.
In a goodwill message addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is the General Secretary of the CPC and Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang and members of the Standing Committee of the CPC, Obasanjo declared that China’s growth and strength were unstoppable.
Obasanjo noted that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China in 1971, Nigeria’s relationship with China has developed into one of the most important bilateral relationships maintained by either country.
The relationship, he added, has broadened and deepened with China’s growing power and interest in securing its regional interests, particularly within the South China Sea, and taking its place as a major global actor.
China and Nigeria, Obasanjo further noted, have signed a number of agreements on trade, economic and technological cooperation, as well as in the area of investment protection.
Obasanjo said, “In May, 1999 when Nigeria returned to constitutional democracy, I visited China twice in 2001 and 2005, respectively with my Chinese counterpart reciprocating both visits. The combination of domestic political and economic reforms and policy re-alignment enabled Nigeria to re-open dialogue and cooperation with major trading partners.
“As a result, there was evidence of growth in the country’s trade relations with its traditional allies, as well as emerging economies such as India and China. Indeed, by 2004-2005, China has succeeded in displacing other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands as Nigeria’s biggest trading partner.
“During former President Hu Jintao’s visit to Nigeria in 2006, as Nigerian President, I remember making the following remarks, ‘From our assessment, this twenty-first century is the century for China to lead the world. And when you are leading the world, we want to be close behind you. When you are going to the moon, we don’t want to be left behind’.
“Today, China is one of the most important lenders of development finance to Nigeria. Chinese firms and finance play a prominent role in Nigeria’s infrastructure development. This is notably in the construction of railway lines and road reconstruction across the country. Nigeria marked symbolic progress of railway service in July, 2016, when its first completed standard gauge railway modernization project, Kaduna to Abuja, assisted by China was put into commercial operation. The light rail, the first of its kind in West Africa, fully reflects China’s technology, quality and speed.
“As of 2017, Nigeria was China’s largest engineering contract market, second largest export market, third largest trading partner, and major foreign direct investment destination in Africa. Nigeria is also the first African country to accept Chinese renminbi (RMB) in its foreign reserve. China and Nigeria have maintained a steady development of Lekki and Ogun free trade zones in the Southern part of the country. The zones aim to attract foreign investors and manufacturers to optimize Nigeria’s industrial structure and improve its national living standard.
“Clearly, the relationship has become more economic as China evolved from a political power to a global economic giant. The growing trade and presence of Chinese finance in Nigeria has also led to changing narratives about increased migration on both sides. China has also contributed to the development of Nigeria’s human capital. Many Nigerian students now study in Chinese schools – with a few on scholarships.
“China’s visibility in Africa’s infrastructural landscape is clear. From the landmark $200million African Union Secretariat building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which was a gift in 2012 by China, to the roads, airports, railways, universities and libraries, Chinese investment in Africa increased from around $75million in 2003 to $2.7billion in 2019. Africa has also served as a market for Chinese manufacturing and as a source of raw materials.
“Chinese companies are also building education and training facilities in Nigeria. Nigeria was the first African country to establish a cultural centre in China, and the Chinese Cultural Centre was established in Nigeria in 2013. Every year, many cultural and academic groups from both countries visit each other, promoting art and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
“Let me conclude with a poser I raised in the Vol. III of my memoir, My Watch: Now and Then, ‘What events are we to watch for in the future?’ China’s growth and strength remain unstoppable. How China uses its increased power will matter to the world. Technology will keep moving. Africa must be innovative, shrewd and resourceful to know where and how to jumpstart technology, not by re-inventing the wheel but by being only a step behind the cutting edge of science and technology and by being part of the creation of relevant technology for our needs, development and progress. Africa must not be detached from the world of science, technology and innovation led by China,” Obasanjo wrote.
In the message, the former president congratulated the Chinese community all over the world and the entire good people of China on the 100 years celebration of the CPC, which he said, was the second largest political party in the world.
“I am, indeed, pleased and honoured for the opportunity accorded me to send in my goodwill message in support of the centenary celebration. I bring to you the good wishes of the entire people of my great country, Nigeria.
“Founded in 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has always been committed to its original aspiration and mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is important to note that, China’s success can be ascribed to its political system. The party has led the country from the era of Chairman Mao to become the economic powerhouse it is today. At $16.64trillion GDP, it’s the second largest economy after USA with $22.68trillion GDP.
“The Peoples’ Republic of China is sometimes referred to as a modern day miracle and continues to draw the attention of the entire world for the remarkable progress it has made in economic development, science and technology. There are several important elements that led China to the Superpower status. One of the factors that have contributed immensely to the growth of the country is the leadership of the party. Indeed, the party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavour in every part of the country, and thus guides the socialist modernization of China.
“With the founding of the People’s Republic of China, headed by Mao Zedong who is regarded as the Founding Father of Modern China, China’s leaders began their exploration of the road to socialist industrialization and modernization. Working towards the goal of economic modernization, their strategy moved from ‘national industrialization to four modernizations’. Mao was responsible for many of the political initiatives that transformed the face of China.
“Following Mao’s death in 1976, the new leader, Deng Xiaoping, commenced a series of reforms that radically changed China. Deng encouraged international trade and allowed foreign capital investment. The result has been China’s phenomenal entry into world markets and a booming economy. The economic reforms that were introduced by Deng Xiaoping in the late seventies have transformed the Chinese economy and produced a period of spectacular growth. With Deng Xiaping’s reform policies of the 1970s and 1980s, China’s dramatic growth and modernization and attendant industrial, energy and market expansion needs brought it into greater contact with Africa,” Obasanjo also said.
NOSL Engage Girls To Develop Stem Skills In Nigeria
FG Partners States For Democracy Dividends
The Federal Government has expressed its resolve to collaborate with state governments to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Alhaji Bello Goronyo, made this known during a courtesy visit to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa in Yola on Friday.
He said Adamawa is highly blessed with human and natural resources, as he visited dams and other irrigation sites in the state.
“I want to assure you that the federal ministry of water resources and sanitation is open for collaboration with your state and other states in the federation.
“The 8-point agenda of President Bola Tinubu, particularly on food security, is very important because with hunger we cannot achieve peace and security in Nigeria.
“So we believe much needed to be done, river basins are veritable tool in attaining food security and we have a lot of arable land”, Goronyo said.
According to him, if fully utilised it will solve a lot of problems especially creation of employment opportunities, among others.
Responding, Fintiri pledged to collaborate with the ministry to maximise the benefits of the ministry’s mandate.
He said the State Government is in discussion with investors and other makers on how to take advantage of the available water in the state for public private partnership.
Fintiri also appreciated thebFederal Government on addressing open definition in the country.
“On the health aspect we will be collaborating to ensure that we put our resources, because whatever we do in the health sector if we do not take care of the open defecation is like we do nothing.
“And we will not be free from all the diseases because most of the airborne diseases are surrounded around the open defecation”, he said.
FEMA Reopens Five Barricaded Roads
The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reopened the barricaded slip road interchange and four other roads in the FCT, Abuja, to ease the flow of traffic.
The roads are Galadimawa interchange, Dogon Gada, Dogon Ruwa, Apo-Dutse, and Gada Biyu.
The TIde’s source reports that the roads were barricaded during the rainy season as a mitigating measure against flooding and to prevent loss of lives and properties.
Director, Forecasting, Response and Mitigation (FEMA) told journalists after the exercise in Abuja on Saturday, that opening of the roads would ease the flow of traffic in the affected areas of the city.
Wenegieme said the roads were barricaded on May 11, because of the recurrent flooding of the roads during the rainy season.
“The onset of the rain in Abuja is usually in the month of May hence the need to barricade the roads. You are all aware of what has been happening around this slip road every year.
“To the glory of God, no life was lost in this area from 2020 to 2022 because we made a tradition to block the road during the rainy season.
“It has become part of our mitigating measures to save lives and properties in the FCT by making sure that this slip road and other vulnerable roads are barricaded.
“This is to stop vehicular movement, pedestrians and those using motorcycles from using this road during the rainy seasons.
“Now we decided to open them to ease traffic since the rainy season is over”, she said.
She commended stakeholders and residents for their understanding and support throughout the raining season, adding that the removal of the temporary barricades would reduce traffic gridlock in the affected areas.
The director also announced the commencement of 2023 dry season sensitisation campaign against incessant fire outbreaks in the FCT.
She pointed out that the season was characterised by fire outbreaks, stressing the need for residents to be cautious while handling cooking gas, petroleum products, electrical appliances, and other inflatable items.
She urged residents to switch off all electrical appliances, keep a fire extinguisher at homes and shopping malls and advised against keeping petroleum and other flammable substances at homes and shops.
Wenegieme also warned residents against bush burning and operating businesses under high tension electric cables.
She appealed for the full cooperation of residents during rescue efforts in the FCT.
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