President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far as China-Nigeria relations clock 50 years and thanked China for its support in defence matters and infrastructural development of Nigeria.
Mr Femi Adesina, the Special to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said Buhari made this known in a letter written to his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China.
In the letter, the president also rejoiced with Chinese people across the world as they commence the celebration marking the new Chinese Year of the Ox on Feb. 12.
He said: “It is now 50 years since the establishment of Nigeria-China diplomatic relations, and I am delighted that the bilateral ties have achieved far reaching and fruitful results, on the basis of close coordination and mutual trust, bringing great benefits to our countries and peoples.
“As celebrations of the Chinese Year of the Ox by all Chinese across the world commence on Feb. 12th this year, on behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I use this opportunity to extend my warmest and most sincere greetings and wishes to you and the Chinese people for a promising and auspicious Lunar New Year.
“Nigeria is very satisfied with the progress of bilateral relations, and we thank China for its support to us in various ways, in building of rail, road, power, defence, and many other areas.”
The Nigerian leader noted that since the COVID-19 outbreak, China had been working with Nigeria and other African countries to safeguard the “lives and health of our citizens, adding new dimensions to our friendship.
“We acknowledge that Chinese support tremendously strengthened our effort against the pandemic.”
Buhari noted with delight that in recent years Nigeria and China had also witnessed steady development of their strategic partnership.
He said that in the face of significant challenges faced by international community, the two sides were upholding a common position of preserving multilateralism, not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and safeguarding common interest of developing countries.
“This year is vital for China-Nigeria relations. The FOCAC has become a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between Nigeria and China, as well as between Africa and China.
According to the president, Nigeria is ready to work with China to make the new session of FOCAC this year a success.