In this interview with journalists, national coordinator of the Good Governance Ambassadors of Nigeria (GOGAN), Chief Felix Idiga, defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent trip to China, saying it had boosted foreign diplomacy between Nigeria and China as well as a consolidation of development.
President Muhammadu Buhari was in China and just returned to Nigeria. What was your assessment of that trip?
In the first place, President Buhari also participated in the summit which held September 3rd and 4th in his capacity as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) and delivered remarks at the high-level dialogue among Chinese and African leaders, business representatives and African entrepreneurs. Most of these were Nigerians and therefore the country is best for it. He also attracted some developmental projects to the country.
Some people have frowned at the presence of more politicians rather than business men and women in the president’s delegation, what is your take on this?
That is not exactly the truth. Mr. President merely went on an international summit where he equally had after the summit, bilateral meetings with Chinese President, Xi Jinping and the prime minister, Li Keqiang. They were said to have discussed infrastructure financing for strategic projects in Nigeria. Don’t forget that in April 2016, Mr. President stormed China with a delegation of over 100 Nigerian businessmen and women and entrepreneurs and project financing and business partnership worth over $6billion were attracted to the country. What this recent trip aimed to achieve is a consolidation of those development agreements as such, there was actually no need to embark on that journey with another retinue of people. That would amount to economic wastages.
Can you enumerate some of the gains recorded from this China trip?
Like I said earlier, this recent trip was aimed at consolidating the gains of the trip of 2016. The president and the Chinese leaders also discussed the upgrading of Nigeria-China relations from “strategic partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership.”They used the occasion to assess the progress made so far in Chinese interventions in Nigeria’s key priority infrastructure projects, especially the ongoing ones in the railway and power sectors. Since the past three years plus, Nigeria under President Buhari has pushed forward practical cooperation with China in so many areas such as infrastructure construction, trade, investments, finance, power, agriculture, education cooperation among others. Our relationship with the Chinese has grown progressively to our advantage. This is why many agree that we need a continuation of this administration to fully solidify these moves.
How has your organisation managed to carry Nigerians along on the achievements of the present administration in that country?
GOGAN preaches and advocates the promotion of good governance. Part of our strategies is what we are doing here today. At the home front, Nigerians are witnessing the gradual development in several sectors of the economy. The fight against corruption is yielding great results and slowly but steadily, Nigerians are beginning to appreciate the good works of Mr. President. We are simply on the move and we are getting there.
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