Godfrey Onyema, the minister of foreign affairs, revealed on Friday that the amount of trade between Nigeria and the Peoples’ Republic of China has reached $25 billion, or roughly N10.91 trillion. Speaking at the official ceremony marking the transfer of a 46-meter patrol boat and other military equipment from the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, which took place at the parade grounds of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft in Lagos, Onyema noted that the two nations’ relationship go back to 1971. The minister added that the countries’ trade volume would increase as a result of their strong connection.
Mr. Babatunde Mustapha, the Nigerian ambassador to China, attended the ceremony on the minister’s behalf. He stated that the 46-meter patrol boat and other military hardware were gifts, stating that the act is an evidence of the friendly ties between the two countries. Cui Jian Chun, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, who also spoke at the ceremony, disclosed that the two nations intend to start manufacturing military gear in Nigeria.
He claimed that local manufacturing of military equipment will significantly improve the performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces in their efforts to put an end to terrorism in Nigeria. He said: “The second is about economic cooperation. This is very, very important for the material conditions of Nigerian people and for Nigerian society. China, with about 1.4 billion people, and under the leadership of the Communist Party, has accomplished the first centenary of eradication of absolute poverty. We will like to share our experience with Nigeria and how you can achieve this great goal by the year 2030.”
Although it seems like a good speech from someone with the interest of the nation at heart, Nigerians have questioned the communication of the Ambassador. They wonder what the intent of China is, by saying the cooperation of the two countries is in Nigeria’s interest because of the “…material condition of the Nigerian People and for Nigerian Society.” The citizens wonder why such comment would come from him about the nation that his country left all her supposed prosperity it to come set up investments in. If Nigeria is truly in abject poverty, why has the relationship between the two nations persisted?
Another question asked is the purpose behind the emphasis on the leadership of the Communist Party. Is China hoping to one day introduce Communism into Nigeria? Does Nigeria and the Nigerian Government appear so clueless that the Chinese government feels the need to come share your experience in order for her to achieve total removal of absolute poverty (if that were true)?
So many more questions were raised by Nigerians about the speech which truly are valid questions that prove the thought and intent of the speech should be proven.