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Nigeria @ 63: Gains of Nigeria-China’s diplomatic relations

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Nigeria @ 63: Gains of Nigeria-China’s diplomatic relations

By: Fortune Abang

Nigeria’s strategic partnership with China has continued to attract tangible development since inception of the formal establishment of Nigeria-China diplomatic relations on Feb. 10, 1971.

Over the years, both countries worked closely together, particularly in celebration of their respective independence anniversary on October 1, annually.

The celebration centered on the commemoration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the Independence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria often promote benefits of cooperation between them.

As both countries commemorate their anniversary this year, it has become important to glance at gains of Nigeria’s partnership with China so far, in terms of national development.

Such gains derived under framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) include; the Agricultural Projects tagged: Green Agriculture West Africa Ltd., (GAWAL) by CGCOC Group Co., Ltd in 2006.

Construction and Operation of Agriculture High-tech Abuja-Industrial Park in 2013, by GAWAL and development of Lekki Port, the first deep sea port in Nigeria by CHEC with the BOOT model, completed in October, 2022.

Also, construction of the Lekki Deep-Sea Port, Lagos Rail Mass Transit and Lagos-Ibadan Railway, Lagos Rail Mass Transit and Lagos-Ibadan Railway projects are expected to create nearly US$360 billion of economic benefits and 170,000 jobs for Nigeria.

Furthermore, the Abuja-Kaduna Railway, constructed by China Civil and Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).
Nigeria-China relations which span above 52 years has indeed, stood the test of time with Nigeria benefitting strategically in their trade volume pegged at $5.4billion, as of the first quarter of 2023.

Nigeria and China share similarities, in terms of celebration of indepence every 1st of October, which mark an important day for both countries having the largest population in their respective continents.
Nigeria and China are both highly complimentary in economic structure and development strategy.

Obviously, Nigeria has enjoyed comprehensive and rapid development through cooperation with China and thereby, flourished in many spheres of economic and social development.
Nigeria, one of African countries that has attracted most investments from China is the third largest trading partner to the country.

According to Ms Yan Yuqing, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, trade volume between Nigeria and China reached $23.9 billion in 2022.
Yan said, “In spite of the impact of Covid-19, Nigeria still maintains its position as China’s largest civil engineering contracting market, second largest export destination, third largest trading partner and major investment destination.

“The opportunities arising from Chinese Modernisation will certainly benefit 200 million Nigerians.
“China is willing to work together with Nigeria to strengthen the development strategy dialogue, enhance close contacts at various levels to firmly support each other.

“To expand pragmatic cooperation in all aspects and promote development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership towards a deeper and higher level.”
Obviously, partnership between Nigeria and China brought about High-Quality Development of Belt and Road Cooperation, and many landmark construction projects by Nigeria-based Chinese enterprises.

Nigeria’s strategic partnership with China also enjoyed comprehensive and rapid development.

Cooperation between the two countries is flourishing, especially in the fields of politics, trade, infrastructure development, IT, agriculture and culture.

As of January 2023, the opening ceremony of Nigeria’s Lekki deep-Sea Port herald its operation as the largest deep-water port in West Africa constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited.

In line with this, President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping had during the official exchange of pleasantries on the occasion of October 1, independence anniversary promised to deepen Nigeria-China ties.
The two leaders exchanged pleasantries on the occasion of Nigeria’s 62nd and China’s 73rd independence anniversary respectively.

In his letter, congratulating the Chinese president on the anniversary, Buhari said Nigeria’s relation with China achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits.
According to him, Nigeria sought to elevate its strategic partnership with China to a new level.

Buhari said, “The bilateral ties between Nigeria and China have achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits.
“We thank China for its support to us in various ways and are ready to seek more collaborations with you, as well as to elevate the Strategic Partnership between our two countries to a new level.”

For his part, Xi said the Sino-Nigerian relations enjoy sound momentum, with political mutual trust being enhanced, cooperation in various fields yielded fruitful results and coordination on international and regional affairs being closer.

“I highly value the development of China-Nigeria relations, and would like to join efforts with you to promote the strategic partnership between our two countries and the two peoples.”

Meanwhile, in his remarks during the 74th independence anniversary celebration of China, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, lauded Chinese for driving growth and development in the nation.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Bimbo Salu-Hudeyin, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), said China had helped in the actualisation of significant projects in Nigeria.

According to him, the completion of the first phase of the Blue Line rail transportation from Marina to Mile-2 is one of the mutually beneficial partnerships between China and Lagos State.

“We commend the people of China for their incredible spirit that has continued to drive growth and development.
“Your outstanding and remarkable accomplishment in critical areas such as infrastructure, technological innovations, and aerospace technology, ecological development, cultural evolution etc, is most inspiring.

“The government of Lagos State cherishes the long standing beneficial relationship with the People’s Republic of China.
“This relationship has contributed immensely to the rapid growth of our economy, especially in the areas of trade infrastructure and road construction,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The analysts agreed that irrespective of the evolving international situation Nigeria-China pragmatic cooperation in major sectors also witnessed a rapid development, driven by wheels of guiding strategy, trade, investment and contracted projects, development assistance, and that a lot more could be achieved by deepening relations to build community with shared future.

Nigeria @ 63: Gains of Nigeria-China’s diplomatic relations

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Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

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Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

By: Michael Mike

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the British Government for offering to undertake the provision of headquarters house and personnel accommodation for the Marine Unit of the anti-narcotics body at the Eko Atlantic city beach.

Marwa, who gave the commendation while performing the groundbreaking ceremony to signify the commencement of the project facilitated by the UK Home Office International Operations (HOIO), assured that the agency will continue to live up to the expectations of Nigerians and its international partners.

He said the confidence reposed in the agency by President Bola Tinubu and the UK government as well as their all-round support will always be a morale booster for the officers and men who daily take huge risks to dismantle drug cartels with the sole aim of curbing the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, while significantly contributing to the global effort to address the drug problem.

He noted that the office and accommodation facilities being provided by the UK government for personnel of the marine unit of the agency will in no small measure enhance their safety, efficiency and confidence. “You have provided us a place here, you’ve given us the trainings, you’ve supported with the boats and the repairs and now the accommodation. We can only say thank you. We wish to give the assurances on what you already know that the NDLEA is a serious Agency, we do what we have to do without fear or favour, we will get the job done, that I can give you the assurance as we continue to partner. Thank you very much”, the NDLEA boss said while addressing the British government officials and their contractors at the site of the project.

He also commended personnel of the Navy, Customs, Immigration and other services in the area for their collaboration with NDLEA. “We all must stand up together, though the NDLEA is the lead agency in this enterprise, the work is collaborative. We must partner to get the job done. I’ve been briefed that there’s lot of collaboration going on the same way I was at MMIA this morning and spoke to your senior colleagues there and they are all working together as you are here. I urge you to keep it up in this spirit and I wish you more success.”

Addressing officers of the Unit, Marwa said the leadership of the agency is restructuring the Marine Unit so that it “can become a lean and mean force under an able commander”, adding “you should brace up, stand up on your two feet and work very hard to make sure that drugs do not pass by water.”

In his brief remarks at the ceremony, Kris Hawksfield of the UK Home Office International Operations assured that the project will be completed latest by July 2024.

Speaking earlier at a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy meeting with the leadership of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Marwa said there is need for the organization to partner with the Agency in the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He urged the PMAN President, Prettywise Okafor and other executives to mobilise their members to use their God-given talents for the good of the society rather than using their music to promote drug abuse especially among the youths.

Okafor in his response expressed the preparedness of PMAN to partner with the Agency. He also gave details of their effort to organise advocacy campaign against drug abuse across the country and their plan to build rehabilitation centres as part of their ongoing projects in Abuja and Lagos.

Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

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Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

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Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

By: Michael Mike

President Bola Tinubu has been advised not to merge the Nigerian Army University with the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of the implementation of Steve Oronsaye report.

The advice was given by the Olowu of Kuta, HRM Oba Hameed Adekunle Makama, Tegbosun III, in a statement on Tuesday.

The monarch in a statement issued by his media office, said Nigerian Army University, Biu, unlike the Nigerian Defence Academy, Is a full fledged federal university like other federal universities in the country, and offers various courses, and not specialised university which the NDA is.

He added that the Nigerian Army University was established by the Act of Parliament and cannot be reversed without going back to the National Assembly to repeal the act that set it up, noting that merging NAUB with NDA means the federal government is ready to merge every federal university created by the act of parliament.

Oba Makama also reminded President Tinubu that Nigerian Army University Biu was set up to cater for the multitude of students in search of university education in the north east axis, adding that merging it with the NDA will reduce it to an institution where military personnel are trained.

Oba Makama, however, commended President Tinubu for the political will to implement a far-reaching civil service reform that was initiated twelve years ago so as to cut the over bloated costs of governance

He said: “I believe the mixed up should not have arisen if proper wide consultation is made before advising Mr. President on inclusion of NUAB because Army University is not even in existence during the Orosanye panel.”

Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

“.The Nigerian Army University Biu, (NAUB) in Borno State was established as a means to explore a non-kenetic approach in the service operations against insurgency”…Lagbaja, Lt-Gen.

By: A. G. Abubakar,*

The philosophy that guided the establishment of the NAUB was aptly captured by the above statement made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Ge T. Lagbaja during the maiden graduation of about 417 students of the University in 2023. The assertion by the COAS underscores the difference between a formal military academy like the NDA and a conventional University with a military bend.

It recognises the fact that a “military” exists in a larger society that calls for a “strategic” relationship as a bulwark towards sustainable peace and stability. Thus, while the Academy produces combatants along with requisite hardware, the associate University deals with critical non-kenetic matters of “interdisciplinary academic field, centered on the study of peace and conflict strategies and often devoting special attention to the relationship between military history, international politics, geostrategy, international diplomacy, international economics and military power”, among others. That’s why in the USA all the major arms of military have both specialised academies and Universities in tow.

The famous ones being the US Military Academy at West Point and The US Army University (online), West Virginia. China has more than half a dozen of them under a “policy of leveraging the civilian sector to maximise Military power (known as ‘Military-civilian fusion’)”. India established one in Haryana in 2013. Pakistan and indeed many nations concerned with sustainable national security, operate the two systems concurrently. It’s therefore strange the the current Administration would consider diminishing this global best practice.
The strategic location of NAUB, provides government the ample opportunities to even undertake studies as regards the often prenial frosty relationship between Nigeria as an English speaking country with its three French speaking neighbours of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.

The trio share boarders with Borno State, the host state of NAUB. Cross border crimes and illicit weapons have largely fuelled the insurgency in the North East, compounded by dearth of empirical and/or actionable intelligence information from communities in the region.

An Army University could play a decisive role in such cases. The swash of land from Biu, Southern Borno to Cameroon via Garkida, Gombi and Mubi to the East and also through Askira/Uba, Chibok, Gwoza into far north Cameroon enroute Chad had no specialised security-biased tertiary institution like the NAUB. Furthermore, at the time the institution was established, it filled a geopolitical void in Borno State.

Despite the existence of many tertiary institutions in the state such as the Unimaid, the Teaching Hospital, a Polytechnic, College of Agriculture, College of Health Technology, for political reasons the state government didn’t deem it fit to site the Borno State University in the South, where citizens have been yearning for more educational opportunities.
The people’s frustration with this inequitable development was addressed by the arrival of the NAUB. The University has thus, since been seen as a balancing act. The NAUB which is now underway threat has a fundamental role to play in terms of stability in the state, the region and even internationally as a Central Africa security study center.

While calling on Government to consider the NAUB strategic context and save the institution on its own merit, the Borno State Governor Zulum, his Deputy Kadafur, Senator Ndume, Hon. Betara, Haske, Jaha, Balami should impress upon the Federal Government to let NAUB be. They should deem it Honourable to lay the bare facts once more before the government.

The nation stands to gain more in the long run more than the short term resources they want to save. There is no bad education but there could be bad decisions. Let the latter be avoided.
By A. G. Abubakar,
agbarewa@gmail.com

CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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