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Nigerian engineer sees better future working for Chinese company

China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-15 10:09

ABUJA, Nigeria-Abdullahi Isa, a Nigerian civil engineer, had set himself many personal goals to achieve before he turns 40. Among his goals were owning a house in the city, having a private car, a good job, wives, and kids.

And all these and more, Isa, who is currently a site manager for a Chinese construction firm in Nigeria's northeastern state of Gombe, had managed to achieve before attaining that age this year.

He was 23 when he set those personal goals for himself in 2002. That year, he was hired by the firm, Eighteenth Engineering Company (or EEC) Nigeria Limited, which has handled and is still handling several road construction projects in the West African country.

"Now, I have a house of my own in the city where my two wives and children live. I have a private car. My kids are attending good schools. I can easily provide for my family's needs. I am a happy man because I have a good job here," he said, counting his blessings since joining the Chinese firm 17 years ago.

Isa, born in a rustic village in Gombe, moved to the city in 2002 in search of greater opportunities and a better future without acquiring sufficient formal education.

His story, he told Xinhua, could be likened to that of many homeless young Nigerians who had lost hope in life.

After several months of roaming the streets and doing menial jobs, he was hired by the Chinese firm as a laborer.

He worked for many years as a laborer, foreman before getting promotion as a site manager of the EEC. He has so far led at least three road construction projects in Gombe.

More than 100 road projects with a total length of about 2,400 kilometers have been executed by the EEC, a subsidiary of the China Railway Construction Corporation, since entering the Nigerian construction market in 1999.

Isa is currently leading scores of local labor workers on another road construction project handled by the EEC.

On April 4, the Chinese construction firm formally commenced the construction of the new road to open up rural areas in Gombe, aiming to boost the local economy.

The road construction will open up at least three communities in Yamaltu/Deba local government area of Nigeria when completed.

Wan Lianyu, the managing director of the EEC Nigeria, said the implementation of these projects had brought local job opportunities and improved residents' livelihood.

"We hope to deepen cooperation with the Nigerian government on production capacity through the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the Chinese government, so as to create more benefits for the people in Nigeria," Wan added.


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