Nigeria can only overcome poverty with right policies, says Chinese envoy


Diri seeks Beijing’s assistance on infrastructure, agric.

Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun has said if China with its large population can overcome poverty, Nigeria can also do same if the country adopts the right policies.Jianchun made the assertion yesterday when Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri visited him at the country’s embassy in Abuja.Jianchun said China and Nigeria had a lot in common.

The envoy noted that 12 years ago, China had over 87 million people living below the poverty line, but that by February this year, they had all crossed above the line.The Chinese envoy said: “If China with its large population can overcome poverty, Nigeria can also do same if the country adopts the right policies.

“I believe that we have to work together to grow. If we have to achieve our country’s national interest, we have to do something significant in our host country.“I, therefore, thank you (Diri) for your expression of confidence in China and Chinese companies. You have made the right choice.

“We can look at the possibility of Chinese investors and companies partnering with Bayelsa to develop your gas resources as well as infrastructure.“Bayelsa is an important state to Nigeria because of its natural resource endowments and its people. There are several areas of partnership we can explore.”Reacting, Diri sought the assistance of the People’s Republic of China in the area of infrastructure, agricultural, technical and educational development of his state.

Diri, who was warmly received, said China had recorded robust successes in economy, partnerships, innovations as well as in poverty eradication.He noted that in the last two decades, the most populated country in the world had witnessed rapid growth, surpassing the World Bank as the world’s largest lender of development finance.He said the feat was achieved primarily through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure plan conceptualised in China in 2013 and implemented in more than 70 countries with the goal of partnering in the design and implementation of large infrastructure projects.Diri noted the President of China’s statement that his government was willing to partner with Nigeria to reduce poverty, saying Bayelsa would be the right destination for such intervention.

He stated: “We believe Bayelsa offers a considerable window to the world and will be a spectacular platform to showcase the BRI in the building of roads that traverse several water bodies as well as providing access to inexhaustible reserve of resources in the coasts of Bayelsa.“Our state’s expansive coastline is ideal for fishing, tourism and wind energy. Our government has identified agriculture as the main sector within which it will achieve sustainable development and growth. We have already identified four areas to substantially invest, which are fishing farming, rice, cassava and plantain cultivation.”


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