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Buhari lauds China’s role in “reversing infrastructure deficit” in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday lauded China’s role in the infrastructure development of Nigeria, saying that there is no way a country can develop if it is hampered by severe deficit in infrastructure.

The President spoke Tuesday at State House, Abuja, while receiving the outgoing Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, at a virtual farewell audience.

“Please convey our appreciation to President Xi Jinping for the contribution of China towards reversing the infrastructure deficit we suffer in the areas of rail, roads, airports and power. There’s no way a country can develop without these things,” President Buhari said.

He added that China had played its role effectively in all the Memoranda of Understanding signed with Nigeria, “and we quite appreciate it.”

President Buhari said he had followed the “highly mobile” activities of Dr Pingjian in the past four years, “and you have visited all our 36 states. I see you all over the media, you have the energy and health, and you have performed effectively.”

The outgoing Ambassador, here since September 2016, described his tour of duty as “highly rewarding time,” saying he appreciates the government and people of Nigeria greatly.

“I have been privileged to visit all the 36 states of the country, I have seen the remarkable progress being made, and under your leadership, I am confident that Nigeria will fly higher,” Dr Pingjian said.

He added that in about 50 years of Nigeria-China relations, “this is the best time we have had. You have visited China twice, showed us solidarity at critical times, particularly when COVID-19 broke out, and you always personally attend the commissioning of projects Nigeria does in alliance with China.”

The outgoing Ambassador said the One China Policy was dear to his country, and lauded Nigeria for her support.

“To keep China one is a task that must be done. We will appreciate your continued support, and I will remain a goodwill ambassador of Nigeria,” Dr Pingjian submitted.

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