President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has called for balanced trade between Nigeria and China for mutual economic benefits of the two countries.
Speaking on Wednesday when he played host to the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.Zhou Pingjian, in his office at the National Assembly, Abuja, Lawan urged China to invest more in Nigeria.
He said: “Although Nigeria and China have a long history of relationship which has always being cordial and beneficial to the two countries, it is however worrisome that the relationship as it relates to trade is skewed.
“While Nigerian export to China stands at only US $1.6 billion, Chinese export to Nigeria stands at US $12.4 billion. There is therefore the need for us to have more favourable balanced trading for the mutual benefits of the two countries”.
Lawan also urged the Chinese government to support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in diversifying the nation’s economy, particularly by investing more in agriculture, solid minerals development and technology.
The senate president reassured Nigeria’s position on One China policy, saying that it was based on that policy that the relationship between the two countries had been strengthened through various bilateral agreements.
On the issue of scholarship, Lawan further called for an increase in the number of Nigerian students being granted scholarship by the Chinese government.
He noted that only 300 out of 5000 Nigerian students in China were on scholarship offered by the Chinese government.
Earlier, Pingjian commended Nigeria on its One China policy, describing it “as the core value of the relationship between China and Nigeria”.
He pledged his country’s commitment to support Nigeria’s development efforts, stressing that many infrastructural projects were currently being financed by the Chinese government in partnership with the federal government.
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