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China-Nigeria Belt and Road cooperation

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By Mercy Kelani

Building a new platform for international economic cooperation.

In Beijing, China, the third Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation was held from October 17 to 18, under the theme: “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity”. A keynote speech was delivered by Xi Jinping, the Chinese President. President Xi stated that building a new platform for international economic cooperation, creation of new opportunities for global development, and introduction of new impetus into the global economy can be achieved by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

There has been an extension by the Belt and Road cooperation from the Eurasian continent to Latin America and Africa, with more than 30 International organizations and over 150 countries, engaging BRI documents. The 8 major steps that will be taken by China, to encourage joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, was announced by President Xi. Some of the steps include strengthening institutional building for international BR cooperation, promotion of integrity-based BR cooperation, supporting people-to-people exchanges, advancement in scientific and technological innovation and others.

40 million people were elevated out of poverty through BRI.

The 2023 Conference marked the 10th anniversary of the BRI that was initiated by President Xi. The cooperation under the BRI platform has grown globally over the past ten years. Also, 40 million people were elevated out of poverty, $1 trillion in investments were generated and over 3,000 cooperation projects were constructed under the BRI framework. Historical achievements have been made by the Belt and Road cooperation as over 150 countries have benefited from it; this has also opened up a road of opportunity, prosperity and cooperation leading to common development.

Additionally, the third BRF is another achievement in the procedure of the joint building of the Belt and Road, and is a significant event to celebrate the 10th anniversary. Over 10,000 delegates, 151 countries, and 41 international organizations attended the forum, portraying the global influence and appeal of the China-proposed initiative. As a result of a 458-outcome achievement, the Forum was tagged as a complete success. Apparently, Nigeria is a major partner of BRI. Sen. Kashim Shettima, Vice President, had a meeting with the Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, and Han Zheng, Chinese Vice President.

Chinese gov’t is ready to grow the partnership with Nigeria.

President Xi noted that, in the BR cooperation between Nigeria and China, there have been many highlights. He said that there have been remarkable and completed achievements of projects between them which have enhanced the growth of free trade areas, such as communication backbone networks, power stations, ports, railway and many more. He restated that China is ready to grow the partnership with Nigeria for more successful outcomes, which will then aid agricultural modernization and industrialization in Nigeria. Also, he noted that the country is ready to promote personnel exchanges in Nigeria at all levels.

Also, China was congratulated by Shettima, the Vice President for the hosting of the third BRF. He noted that there has been a cordial relationship between China and Nigeria. He expressed his gratitude for the global cooperative initiatives developed by China to render invaluable assistance for development of Africa and boosting the industrialization process in Nigeria. He highlighted the High-Level Forum on Digital Economy, stating that the instrumentality which existed between Nigeria-China bilateral relations will aid the improvement of the Nigerian tech space.

Nigeria-China bilateral cooperation aids the China-Africa cooperation.

Furthermore, in Beijing, Shettima witnessed the MOU signing between three Chinese partners and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure for the initiation of new projects at the cost of $2 billion, with a $4 billion investment between Nigerian and Chinese partners, with a letter of intent. The standard bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and China has played the role of a pace-setter for the China-Africa cooperation, since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971 and strategic partnership in 2005. According to report, the Belt and Road cooperation agreement was signed by Nigeria and China in 2018. Completed projects include Lagos-Ibadan train route, Lekki Deep Sea Port and others.

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