The government of Akwa Ibom State has urged cooperation with the People’s Republic of China in crucial areas of the state economy since doing so will increase job prospects for residents.
Governor Udom Emmanuel made the call while playing host to the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, at Government House, Uyo.
He welcomed the strengthening of bilateral ties between Nigeria and China over the years. He emphasised the need to support the state’s growth in education, agriculture, and basic infrastructure.
He stressed that the collaboration between the agricultural and educational sectors would lay a firm platform for future investment in nuclear technology.
His words: “We have not reached that level that you want to take us into nuclear power yet. We are still at the basic level. If you want us to draw collaboration, first of all, let’s feed our people through agriculture which I know you have done a lot.
“Let’s start from agriculture, basic social services, let’s, first of all, build basic infrastructure, education, before we get to an advancement where our people will have a clearer understanding of the ingredients and what could be the challenges, the benefits and probably the environmental impact of what nuclear technology will do.
“Those magical touch you have introduced into your economy specifically, your domestic economy, we also have the population, because what created the advantage initially for China is the population because, with the population, you created a major domestic economy where consumption was matched with needs.
“It will be in history that during your time as the 14th Ambassador that you created that synergetic cooperation between what we have in Akwa Ibom State and what you can also offer in terms of technology transfer”.
Cui Jianchun, the 14th Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, who spoke earlier, assured the State government of friendly bilateral relations.
He aimed to build on the trade relations work of his predecessor and praised the governor for his progress in the area.
“In this state, Akwa Ibom, you have the capability to build a nuclear power plant. In the whole country, only Akwa Ibom and Kogi build a nuclear power plants. So I think you can leverage this advantage for the future,” Jianchun stressed.