LAGOS – Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, says Nigeria is open to long-term investments from China and called for deeper trade relations between the two nations.
Speaking on Monday at a town hall meeting in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, Enelamah said President Muhammadu Buhari brought the message to China during his recent visit.
“The message the president and our delegation took to China was that we are open for business; we want to collaborate with you and come and partner with us,” the minister told his audience, adding the two sides signed several agreements during Buhari’s visit.
“It should be pointed out that both countries make a lot of economic importance, not just to the world, but also to their respective continent,” he added.
The Nigerian government also acknowledges that there’s much Nigeria can learn from China, Enelamah said.
“For example, we view with admiration, what China has accomplished by lifting hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty over the cause of just one generation,” he said.
Enelamah said the government aimed to create an “industrial revolution” in Nigeria and make it easier to do business in the country.
“We also want to address the trade deficit which means that we want long-term investment… which China is by the way open to,” he said.
Organized by the Ministry of Information, the town hall meeting was attended by six federal government ministers, state officials, representatives of industries, diplomats, traditional rulers, and students.
On his part, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi said Nigeria was proud of its partnership with China, especially in the area of rail construction and other infrastructure projects.
He said the government would embark on different railway projects across the country immediately the 2016 budget is signed, including the Lagos-Calabar line.
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