China has reiterated its resolve to partner Nigeria in the implementation of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), especially in the area of agricultural development, saying that it has the capacity to grow the country’s agriculture Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from ₦16 trillion in 2015 to ₦21 trillion in 2020.
The revelation made during a one-day China-Nigeria Agricultural Modernisation Cooperation Forum in Abuja indicated that there will be an average annual growth rate of 6.92 per cent (2017-2020).
Chinese Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Mr. Zhao Linxiang, who disclosed this, noted that when China was founded in 1949, over 80 per cent of its population was starving or in semi-starvation, but 68 years down the line, the country could boast of feeding its population in addition to producing food for 20 per cent of the world’s population. He insisted that if China could do it, Nigeria could too.
Also speaking, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhuo Pingjian, stated that China will take advantage of the strategic partnership with Nigeria to share its experience in agricultural development, in line the agriculture agenda which President Muhammadu Buhari presented when he visited China last year.
He noted that his country will remain committed to providing both financial and technical support required for Nigeria to achieve agricultural transformation and food security.
“We are willing to work with Nigeria to provide more effective platform to mobilise more Chinese investment in Nigeria’s Green Alternative,” he said.
For his part, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, acknowledged that China-Nigeria Agricultural Modernisation Cooperation Forum was part of China’s support to the present administration’s effort to re-position the economy, adding that Chinese entrepreneurs were willing to make more investments in Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented at the programme by a Director in the Ministry further explained that cooperation between the two countries will address existing trade imbalance.