The President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, Goodluck Jonathan, is to embark on a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China next week.
The timing of President Jonathan’s visit could be considered to be very significant in light of President’s Obama’s perceived snub of Africa’s second largest economy and most populous nation during his recent tour of the continent.
Considering the fact, however, that such high level meetings between Heads of States are usually planned months in advance it may be purely coincidental.
Below is a statement released by Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Rueben Abati:
“President Goodluck Jonathan will lead a high-powered team of governors, members of the National Assembly, ministers and representatives of Nigeria’s private sector to China next week for talks with Chinese leaders and captains of industry aimed at increasing China’s direct investment in the Nigerian economy.
President Jonathan who will leave Abuja on Monday evening for the five-day state visit to China is scheduled to hold separate meetings with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress, Mr. Zhang Dejiang.
Talks between President Jonathan and the Chinese leaders will focus on greater bilateral cooperation in areas such as the development of public infrastructure, oil and gas, power supply, agriculture, communications and tourism.
It is expected that before the conclusion of the visit on Friday, July 12, 2013, new bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding will be concluded and signed to guide and sustain future Nigeria-China relations in these and other areas of cooperation.
The President will be accompanied by the Governors of Abia, Anambra, Gombe and Bauchi States, Senator Paulinus Nwagu, Hon. Tahir Monguno and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Petroleum, Works, Agriculture, Works, Aviation, Solid Minerals, Transport, National Planning, Trade & Investment, Niger Delta, Justice, Culture & Tourism as well as the Minister of State for Defence.
He will also participate in a special session of the Nigeria/China Investment Forum which will be attended by leading Chinese investors and their Nigerian counterparts.
President Jonathan and his delegation will also hold separate meetings with the Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of leading Chinese conglomerates such as Huawei, SINOPEC and ZTE.
His engagements in Beijing will also include commissioning the new Nigerian Embassy building, laying the foundation stone for the residence of Nigeria’s Ambassador to China and meeting with members of the Nigerian community in China.
Before returning to Abuja, the President and his delegation will visit Daqing in China’s Heilongjiang Province to confer with leaders of the Provincial government and tour the Daqing Petrochemical Industry and Agricultural Demonstration Farm.”
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 3, 2013