President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday asked for the support of the Chinese government to build the 3,050 Megawatts Mambilla hydroelectric power project in Taraba State.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari made the request in Beijing, China while signing the bilateral agreement between himself and President Xi Jinping on the sideline of the 74th Summit of the Forum on¬ China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
According to Shehu, the two countries also signed the agreement of $328 million for the Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase II (NICTIB II) project.
President Buhari explained that the Asian country had in the last two years supported the country in the training of security personnel, agricultural modernization and provision of¬ concessional loans which have impacted on the economy.
The President commended Chinese President, Xi Jinping, for successfully hosting the FOCAC summit which he said had brought together African leaders and business entrepreneurs for a win-win dialogue.
“The FOCAC summit has provided the platform for a very prosperous future for the two billion Chinese and African citizens. Nigeria and China have come a long way, our journey has being that of mutual respect and support.
“In the past 24 months, the Chinese government has provided humanitarian aide to our conflict areas, scholarships to Nigerian youth, military training and security support to our personnel, agriculture modernization training, and concession army loans to fund critical infrastructural projects.
“These interventions have positively impacted on millions of Nigerians and will continue to do so for generations to come. Mr. Premier, earlier today, I solicited the support of President Xi on the Mambilla hydro project which remains a key priority to Nigeria.
“Our wish is to fund this project with concessionaire loans from China. I will also take this opportunity to appeal to your good office to support this project. President Xi and I also witnessed the signing of the belt and road initiative agreements by Nigeria which I strongly believe will set the foundation for many centuries and mutually beneficial relationship.”
On his part, President Xi said, “China will continue to stand with Nigeria,’’ adding that the relationship between Nigeria and China is as best as ever.
‘‘We understand how critical the project is to your country and we will take a serious look at it and ensure that it succeeds because of its social and economic benefits,” he said.
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