Amid criticisms of his frequent overseas trip, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed satisfaction that his just-concluded one week official trip to China had yielded over $6bn additional investments for Nigeria.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement made available to journalists.
Shehu said the President believed that the agreements concluded with the Chinese during the visit would have a huge and positive impact on key sectors of the Nigerian economy including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.
He said, “In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at $478,657,941.28 for the construction of 300 megawatts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State.
“In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at $55m for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.
“A total of $1bn is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.
“For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a $250m deal to develop an ultra modern 27-storey high rise complex and a $2.5bn agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project.”
According to the presidential spokesman, other agreements announced and signed during the visit include $1bn for the establishment of a Hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State.
He added that the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Limited also signed an agreement valued at $200m for the construction of two 500MT/day floating gas facilities.
“An agreement valued at $363m for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi state was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.
“Other agreements undergoing negotiations include a $500m project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a $25m facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited.
“About 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China,” Shehu added.
Buhari, in another statement, said his administration would take urgent steps to restructure Nigeria’s economy.
He said he would achieve this by encouraging new investments in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.
The President was quoted as saying this in Guangzhou, China, at a reception in his honour by the Chinese Communist Party.
Buhari was further quoted as saying that Nigeria would welcome the support of the Chinese government, foreign investors and local businesses for efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.
He noted that the diversification of the Nigerian economy was long overdue as continued reliance on crude oil exports had always made the economy vulnerable to shocks.
‘‘This time, we will be more deliberate. The government and businesses will be involved,” Buhari said.
In his remarks, the Secretary of the Communist Party, who is also the Governor of the Guangdong Province, Mr. Hu Chinhua, pledged that the region would support the implementation of all the bilateral agreements reached with the Chinese government during Buhari’s visit.
The President also visited the Sino-Singapore Knowledge City in Guangzhou, which showcases advancements by China in medical, science and technological inventions.