By Patience Danjuma with Agency Report
President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria’s partnership with China through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has resulted in the execution of vital infrastructure projects across the country, valued at over $5 billion.
Buhari stated this in Beijing, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Shehu added that the president’s statement was at the FOCAC Round Table meeting, attended by African leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He quoted Buhari as highlighting specific projects executed through the Chinese support under FOCAC in the last three years to include areas of infrastructure and human capacity development.
According to the president, the Chinese support to Nigeria has also impressively addressed significant challenges in the areas of power, transport, agriculture and humanitarian assistance.
He said the partnership with China through the FOCAC platform, has resulted in the construction of the first urban rail system in West Africa which was commissioned in July this year in Abuja.
The president also cited the construction and operation of the first rail system in Africa that used modern Chinese standards and technology.
He said, “This 180-km rail line that connects Abuja and Kaduna was commissioned two years ago at a cost of $500 million.
“Today, the rail line is functioning efficiently with no issues – indeed, a sign that Chinese technology is world class,” he noted.
President Buhari said that ”Nigeria is leveraging Chinese funding to execute $3.4 billion worth of projects at various stages of completion.
These he said include the upgrading of airport terminals, the Lagos – Kano rail line, the Zungeru hydroelectric power project and fibre cables for our internet infrastructure.
“Furthermore, less than three months ago, Nigeria signed an additional $1 billion loan from China for additional rolling stock for the newly constructed rail lines as well as road rehabilitation and water supply projects.”
Buhari noted that the aforementioned projects had demonstrated the high level of consistency and commitment China had shown in boosting its relations with African countries under the umbrella of FOCAC.
He said, “I am optimistic that this Summit will offer new opportunities that would build on these past achievements.
“Nigeria will continue to support the FOCAC initiative and also seek to key into the Belt and Road Initiative.”
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