The Minister of State, Steel Development, Maigari Ahmadu, has urged Chinese investors to explore and forge mutually beneficial relationships in sectors including steel development, agriculture, manufacturing, technology and renewable energy.
Representing Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Mr Ahmadu made this known at a Business Forum hosted by China Industrial and Commercial Enterprise Association on Friday night in Lagos.
Mr Ahmadu said the new administration was investing heavily in critical infrastructure, including roads, ports, and energy.
These developments, he said, would not only facilitate the movement of goods and services but also create opportunities for investments.
Mr Ahmadu said Nigeria was committed to enhancing its investment climate, understanding that for businesses to thrive, they required a stable and conducive environment.
“Nigeria is rich in natural resources from oil and minerals to a fertile agricultural landscape. These resources provide a solid foundation for businesses in various industries.
“We view Chinese investors not merely as financiers, but as partners in our journey toward the economic prosperity of our country.
“It is in the light of this that we are using this opportunity to emphasise collaboration between our nations which can bring about transformative change,” he said.
He described Nigeria as a land of immense opportunities, adding that with a population of over 200 million people, the country represented the largest consumer market.
He noted that investments in the country had the potential to reach millions of eager consumers because of its strategic position in West Africa, offering Chinese investors a gateway to broader regional markets.
“We are committed to responsible business practices that will benefit people, protect our environment and ensure long term businesses.
“We invite our Chinese friends to join us on this exciting journey of growth, innovation, and prosperity.
“We sincerely look forward to building a brighter and a more prosperous future with the People’s Republic of China,” he said.
Guo Pengwen, Commercial Consul at the Chinese Consulate in Lagos, lauded the existing cooperation between both countries, noting that it had a huge potential.
Representing Yan Yuqin, Chinese Consul General, Mr Pengwen said investment from China was helpful to Nigeria’s economic prosperity, increased the local government tax revenue, improved employment and promoted industrial development.
He said that in terms of the steel industry, no other countries could do better than China.
According to Mr Pengwen, in 2022, China produced more than one billion tons of steel, accounting for 55 percent globally.
“China can produce normal steel and the special steel which are used in different fields.
“Normal steel used in the real estate space but special steel is used to make high-speed railways, spaceships and aircraft carriers.
“The Chinese enterprises also have the awareness of environmental protection, sustainable development and low carbon emission.
“China and Nigeria have good economic cooperation. Many Chinese enterprises have invested in Nigeria and I believe there will be bright future for our countries,” he said.
On his part, Eric Ni, Chairman, China Industrial and Commercial Enterprise Association, said that the Chinese community was committed to giving back to Nigerians.
He noted that one of the ways they did this was by empowering low-income students with scholarships.
“We’ve given over 6,000 scholarships and renovated five primary schools in Lagos. We will continue to do more as long as we are here,” he said.