Senate President Ahmad Lawan has called for a balanced trade between Nigeria and China, calling for an increase of number of Nigerian students being granted scholarship by the Chinese government.
In a statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Mohammed Isa, Mr Lawan made the call while receiving Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, who paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.
According to the senate president, the trade imbalance between the two countries needed to be addressed for it to be mutually beneficial.
“Although Nigeria and China have a long history of relationship which has always being cordial and beneficial to the two countries, it is however worrisome that the relationship as it relates to trade is skewed.
“While Nigerian export to China stands at only US $1.6 billion, Chinese export to Nigeria stands at US $12.4 billion. There is therefore the need for us to have more favourable balanced trading for the mutual benefits of the two countries,” he stressed.
Mr Lawan urged the Chinese government to support the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari to diversify the nation’s economy, particularly in investing more in agriculture, solid mineral development and technology.
He reiterated Nigerian’s position on One China policy, saying that it was based on that policy the relationship between the two countries has been strengthened through various bilateral agreements.
On the issue of scholarship, the Senate President called for an increase of number of Nigerian students being granted scholarship by the Chinese government.
He noted that only 300 out of 5000 Nigerian students in China are on scholarship offered by the Chinese government.
Earlier, Pingjian commended Nigeria on its One China policy, describing it “as the core value of the relationship between China and Nigeria”.
He pledged his country’s commitment to support Nigeria’s development efforts, stressing that already many infrasturactural projects are currently being financed by the Chinese government in partnership with the federal government.