Nigeria has dropped to the fourth position as China’s trade partner in Africa from its former second position, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, has said.
The envoy, however, noted that the relationship between the African country and Asian giants had a lot of potential, which could be tapped to the advantage of the two countries.
Speaking during the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigeria-China Relations to the CGCOC headquarters on Friday in Abuja, the envoy stated that his country’s desire was for Nigeria to attract massive Foreign Direct Investment, which he said was needed for the country’s development.
He disclosed that China had so far attracted over $139tn FDI, noting that in 2016 alone, his country attracted about $139bn.
“As Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, I wish a small part of the $139bn could come to Nigeria,” he said, stating that China’s policy was focused on the economic development of Africa.
He also said that China was devoted to implementing the outcomes of the China-Africa Cooperation Summit during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the Asian country in April 2016.
He said, “What is important is for us to focus on the big plans; we see great potential in investments in Nigeria, but Nigeria-China trade is declining fast.
“Nigeria used to be China’s number two trade partner in Africa, but it’s now number four.”
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigeria-China Relations, Buba Yakubu, said the country would henceforth work on implementing all agreements reached with China.