China has offered Nigeria a loan worth $6bn to fund infrastructure projects in Africa’s biggest economy.
“It is a credit that is on the table as soon as we identify the projects,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, told reporters who traveled with President Muhammadu Buhari to China.
“It won’t need an agreement to be signed; it is just to identify the projects and we will access it.”
Also, the President’s man on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, offered $15m agricultural assistance to Nigeria for the establishment of 50 demonstration farms.
The deal was in response to Buhari’s vow to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production.
The offer, according to Shehu, was made during talks between Buhari’s delegation and high-ranking Chinese government officials led by Jinping.
During the talks, China and Nigeria also agreed to strengthen military and civil service exchanges as part of a larger capacity building engagement.
In line with this, China offered to raise its scholarship awards to Nigerian students from 100 to 700 annually, while 1,000 other Nigerians would be given vocational and technical training by China annually.
Shehu quoted Jinping as applauding the war against corruption being waged by Buhari and assured him that Nigeria would always have a special place in the affairs of China.
Buhari, after the talks, directed that technical committees be immediately established to finalise discussions on new joint Nigeria/China rail, power, manufacturing, agricultural and solid mineral projects.