Amb. Baba Jidda, Nigeria Ambassador to China has said that the Nigeria-China strategic partnership is capable of advancing the economic growth of the country.
Jidda said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Beijing, in view of Nigeria’s participation at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) summit which held between 18 and 19.
The summit with the theme: “High-quality Belt and Road cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity,” marked the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
According to him, President Bola Tinubu, was invited to attend the Forum and was represented by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, who participated actively in all the activities lined up during the forum.
“The vice-president held a bilateral meeting between his delegation and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and during the meeting the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China was documented to be raised for comprehensive strategic partnership.
“Nigeria and China has an established diplomatic relations that dates as far back as 1971 and since then till 2005, it was upgraded to strategic partnership.
“Therefore, this current upgrading to comprehensive strategic partnership is a big achievement for the two countries.”
The Nigeria envoy explained the outcome of the strategic partnership, saying, assurance was given for the funding of the Kaduna-Kano railway, as well as serious consideration towards funding of the Ibadan-Kaduna rail projects.
He also said Nigeria’s participation as a country at the BRF had kickstarted its strong membership under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), describing the initiative as an international body that had more avenues than even, the forum on China and Africa.
“Therefore, as Nigeria envoy, I feel proud and elated to have accompanied the vice-president who effectively represented President Tinubu during the forum.
“I, therefore, congratulate the government of Nigeria for being well represented and participating in the Forum,” he said.
Speaking on Nigeria’s foreign policy development, Jidda said that Nigeria had lots of work to do in terms of propagating its foreign policy.
According to him, recently a Foreign Affairs Minister was appointed by President Tinubu and the minister has started very well by reeling out his own lofty programmes.
“Moving forward, with the regime of the Foreign Affairs Minister and cooperation of the ministry, especially the more than 100 Nigeria foreign envoys, we hope to improve our foreign policies.
“We are leaders in our own right in Africa, we are Chairman of ECOWAS and therefore, we have lot of role to play in foreign policy. Nigerians should know that foreign policies are as important as state owned policies.”
He reiterated that foreign policies should be given serious consideration and not be left in the hands of people who only make decisions on basis of personal interest.
According to him, the national interest should be paramount and to that extent, the Foreign Affairs minister supported by the president should take hard look on Nigeria’s foreign policies.
This he said was particularly on certain decisions taken in the bid to ensure that the national interest prevails over any individual’s interest.
He further said that the foreign affairs minister should be given all necessary support, to enable him succeed in projecting a viable, acceptable and suitable foreign policies for Nigeria. (NAN) (www.nannews.com.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria