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How Chinese support aided Nigeria’s response against COVID-19

By Idowu Abdullahi,

President Muhammadu Buhari has explained how the intervention and support from the Chinese Government aided Nigeria’s health emergency response against coronavirus pandemic and mitigate attendant fatalities associated with the disease in other countries.

He revealed that the People’s Republic of China was instrumental in safeguarding the lives and health of Nigerians since the outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease, adding that without such strong support it would have been hard for the country to come up with an effective strategy in fighting the pandemic.

Aside from Chinese help in tackling COVID-19, Buhari also said that China had been instrumental in the area of defence matters and infrastructural development of Nigeria among others.

Buhari disclosed this in a letter he personally signed and addressed to his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between Nigeria and China.

The president, in the letter dated January 28, 2021, expressed satisfaction with the progress made by both countries and thanked China for its support in all areas of human endeavors.

Furthermore, Buhari also rejoiced with Chinese people across the world as they commence celebrations marking the new Chinese Year of the Ox on February 12 this year.

“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 February 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.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China has 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.

“In recent years, Nigeria and China have also witnessed steady development of their strategic partnership. In the face of significant challenges faced by the international community, the two sides are 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. Nigeria is ready to work with China to make the new session of FOCAC this year a success,” the letter read.

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