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China and France Pledge to Strengthen Military and Economic Ties with Nigeria.

Dele Akintilo

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The governments of France and China have promised to increase the level of military and economic cooperation they have with Nigeria. This promise to Strengthen Military and Economic Ties with Nigeria was made by the ambassadors of both countries at separate meetings with Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on July 24, 2015.

The Chinese Envoy, Mr Gu Xiaojie, while talking to the media after the meeting revealed he was very pleased to have met with Professor Osinbajo. He made it known that their discussions were fruitful discussions and that they traded views on bilateral relations.

According to Mr Gu Xiaojie, “This year is the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a strategic partnership between Nigeria and China. I conveyed the message of the government and people of China to work closely with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Also we discussed the specific areas of cooperation between the two countries like infrastructure building, agriculture and some of the specific issues of cooperation of China and Nigeria. We support the Nigerian government and people to maintain peace and stability in the country so that the socio and economic development will be ensured.”

In the same vein, the French Ambassador, Mr Gaver Denya, revealed he came solely to rub minds with the vice president on how to develop bilateral relations between France and Nigeria.

He said, “France has encouraged Nigeria and the neighbouring countries to cooperate and collaborate with Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram. We have also developed close relationship with the Nigerian armed forces providing them with intelligence and military cooperation. We are willing to continue closely this cooperation and to extend it, especially the military cooperation, because we consider it absolutely fundamental in defeating Boko Haram threat for Nigeria and the whole region. We have quite important French presence in Nigeria and are trying to encourage more French companies to come into Nigeria to engage in long economic partnership with Nigerian private sector. We buy Nigeria’s crude oil and the trade balance is in favour of Nigeria.”

The ambassador revealed further that the French Development Agency in Nigeria is keen on financing infrastructure projects in Nigeria, while France is planning more on organizing many visits of French business corporations to Nigeria.