Nigeria is expected sign an agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase II (NICTIB II) with China.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, annouced this in a statement on Saturday, shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Beijing, the Chinese capital.
Garba Shehu said during the six-day official visit, President Buhari will join his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to witness the signing of the agreement between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) at the cost of $328m facilities provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank.
He said that the bank facility is for the development of NICTIB II project which is consistent with the Buhari led administration’s commitment to incorporating the development of ICT into national strategic planning under the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
President Buhari who is in China to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will similarly witness the signing of the MOU on One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR), alongside Mr Jinping.
According to the statement, the Chinese leader had proposed the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013, with a view to integrating the development strategies of partnering countries.
The statement noted that during the High-Level Dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders and Business representatives on the margins of FOCAC, the Nigerian delegation is expected to sign about 25 MOUs.
They included those proposed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
On his arrival at Capital International Airport in Beijing, President Buhari was received by top Chinese government officials, including the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Baba Jidda, and his wife, Zahra; the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ambassador Bakori Aliyu Usman; Consular-General of Nigeria in Guangzhou, Shairudeen Oloko; Consular-General of Nigeria in Shanghai, Anderson Madubuike; and Defence Attaché, Brigadier General Temitope Ademola, were also among those who received the President.
President Buhari is expected to hold a meeting with Nigerians living in China tomorrow , Sunday.