The Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Baba Ahmed Jidda has said plans are in top gear to celebrate the nation’s independence in China.
Nigeria shares the October 1 Independence Day with China and would also want to give Nigerian residents in China a sense of belonging and celebration as China is marking her independence.
Speaking on activities lined up for the day, Ambassador Jidda recounted that the Nigeria’s Embassy in China had a befitting Independence Day Celebration last year and would want to replicate same this year.
He said: “During the Independence Day last year, we had a befitting celebration despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still looking to have a befitting celebration this year in Beijing.”
He added that: “However the COVID-19 restriction and financial constraints will not make it easy for us to embark on elaborate celebration annually, I am still optimistic that something tangible will still be done by the Embassy of Nigeria to celebrate Nigeria’s Independence.”
The Ambassador noted that 1st October remains a special day to him, as “1st October is really the Independence Day of China and coincidentally it is also my birthday. So it is a day that is very dear to me as a person, very dear to me as a Nigerian and very dear to me as a diplomat serving in China. So one way or the other it will be celebrated.”
On bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China, the envoy said: “There is so many things in the area of bilateral relationships, we have been having diplomatic relationship with China for 51 years now and we have signed numerous bilateral agreements between Nigeria and China too numerous for me to start mentioning them in an interview of this nature but you should know that Nigeria is a very close friend of China and we have the agreement on the one China policy,.
“We have agreement on the exchange of education, we have agreement relating to trade and commerce, including the bilateral air service agreement we signed very recently which enables Air Peace to fly directly from Lagos to Guangzhou, we also have agreement in facilitating visa for our officials and citizens for instance all Nigerian diplomats do not require visa to come to China as well as Nigerian officials holding official passport do not also require visa to come to China likewise we allow Chinese to go to Nigeria and obtain visa on arrival and we have been directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to issue visa to Chinese wanting to go to Nigeria for investment within 48 hours. We are making a lot of progress and we are very strong members of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and under that forum we do get support for our infrastructural development.”