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Nigerian delegation to fine tune China-Africa ties

By Lucie Morangi | | Updated: 2016-07-27 19:57

A Nigerian delegation is in Beijing for a Coordinators' Meeting on the implementation of deals forumulated at the Forum on China Africa Cooperation's (FOCAC) Johannesburg Summit, held late last year.

President Muhammadu Buhari's visit in April further bolstered Nigeria's participation in the 10 critical areas covering industrialization, agricultural mechanization, infrastructure development, financial cooperation, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction, public health, cultural and people-to-people exchange, and peace and security.

Recently, Nigeria identified priority projects which will top discussions led by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma. It comes as the oil-rich country's economy experiences turbulence due to falling oil prices and slowing global growth.

The Johannesburg Summit, held in December, identified 10 critical areas of cooperation between China and African countries. The Chinese government pledged a $60 billion assistance package to African countries to develop and grow their infrastructure and human development capacities. Of that, $35 billion was set aside for concessionary loans, $10 billion for the China Africa Fund for Production capacity and $5 billion each for no-interest grants, the China Africa Development Fund and special loans for the development of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).

The delegation is also expected to fine-tune and strengthen the relationship between the two countries by ensuring the faithful implementation of the bi-lateral agreements signed during the State visit of President Buhari to China early this year.

Udoma said the successful implementation of Nigeria's identified projects under FOCAC was expected to further enhance the relationship.

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