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Nigeria gets N2.8 billion agriculture project from China

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China handed over to Nigeria on Tuesday a project called the China-aid Nigeria Agricultural Demonstration Center, valued around N2.8 billion in local currency and represents China’s commitment to developing Nigeria’s agricultural industry.

According to NewsXtra, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce donated the project to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Cui Jianchun, who oversaw the project’s handover, remarked that the demonstration centre would serve to “deepen and broaden” relationships between China and Nigeria in addition to benefiting local farmers and government officials.

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“The Chinese government is handing over this project to enable Nigeria to establish a more modernised agricultural sector because our people believe that a technology-driven agriculture industry means a lot.

“Nigeria has huge potential for agricultural development, and there is a need for machines and technology to attain it.

“We believe in this country, and the project is essential not only for Nigeria but for the whole African continent,” he said.

Cui elaborated that he cares about Nigeria’s progress in various areas, including the nation’s defence, energy, agriculture, and food.

“My biggest interest here in Nigeria is first security, we are working with Nigerian military sectors and law enforcement, and we are trying to see how we can improve the current situation.

“We’ve also done much in electricity, and now we are moving to the agricultural sector.

“Last July, I presented my strategy, called the Nigeria-China 5g GDP strategy and today I am proud to share with you the 5g; political and economic cooperation, military and security collaboration, international affairs coordination and people-to-people communication.

“We have achieved a lot in the infrastructure, ICT, industry, investment and import-export from the Ogun State and Lagos foreign trade zone and Edo state we have a lot of industrial parks and first trade zone there.

“After I visited those States, I found out that we are blooming and boosting this industry in Nigeria; we have delivered a tangible result to the people of Nigeria and also deepened and broadened the cooperation between the two countries,” Cui said.

The envoy continued by saying that China is eager to assist Nigeria in achieving its centenary objective of overcoming severe poverty and constructing a moderately wealthy society.

“We have lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty in China, and in Nigeria, there are 200 million with 100 million living below the poverty line.

“This is my great concern and efforts that make me try to do things for Nigeria, and the most important thing now is agriculture.

“So I’m confident that Nigeria-China can build a strong, prosperous country in the coming 20 years. This is not only about lip service, nor is it about slogans as long as two great nations work together, from agriculture to industry,” he said.

During his remarks, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, represented by Engr. Udo Daniels, Director of Rural Development, thanked the Chinese government for their support and remarked on the longstanding friendship between China and Nigeria.

“In these hard times, it is rare to receive this enormous donation, and I want to appreciate our friendship with China which has led to witnessing the swift and significant achievement of the two nations in the fields of bilateral cooperation.

“Nigeria is noted to be a large and leading agricultural economy; therefore, it needs agricultural technology and Development Centers.

“This project has provided and transfer advance technology to Nigeria.

“It is important to note that the Center will be fully integrated with local agricultural production to enable agricultural technicians to adopt faster,” Daniel said.

The Nigerian government’s deep appreciation for the project was voiced by Prince Clement Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, who Mrs Fatima Sheji, Chief Planning Officer, International Cooperation Department, represented.

She said that the current administration in Nigeria is aiming to bring the country’s agricultural capability up to international standards. Thus, the timing of the project is ideal.

“The skills acquired at the centre will also aid local farmers in maintaining modern agricultural production technology that will be sustainable over the years.

“The centre also touches on the aspect of the agricultural value chain. It addresses food insecurity and increases foreign earnings through export mechanisation, the quality of seedlings and the use of technology for information and research.

“It will also help to curb exports rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural products in foreign markets.

“Established for the training of youth and women on agriculture possessing and multiplication of roots and tuba crop, the Center will boost the agricultural sector in Nigeria and pave the way for self-employment and Infrastructure Development.

“The current administration in Nigeria is putting in place a lot of measures to put the Nigerian economy on the path of sustainable development, most importantly, agriculture.

“I want to assure China of Nigeria is completely deepening and broadening the Cooperation Framework.

“We thank the Bwari area council and the host community who have been available to see this centre’s success.

“I want to also thank the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the commitment towards seeing that this centre becomes a reality and hope that with their interest and dedication, the centre will be sustained over the years to make Nigeria great in the areas of agriculture,” Sheji said.

The project features a training centre for agricultural technology, a research and service centre for agricultural technology, an exhibition hall for agricultural inputs and machinery, a hall dedicated to small-scale agro-processing technology, a power centre, a photovoltaic pump water-saving irrigation system, a demonstration area for farming, and an access road all within the CGCOC Agricultural High-Tech Abuja Industrial Park in the Bwari District of Abuja.

The project spans 31.38 hectares, with individual structures taking up an average of 3,551 square metres and the park’s accessory road and supporting construction works taking up around 20,000 square metres on either side of the dam.

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