September 18, 2013
Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China have pledged military cooperation especially in the training and retraining of security personnel in the areas of tackling terrorism and disaster response capabilities, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Paul Umeh said.
Under the arrangement, both nations would exchange programmes for military officers and students of Defence colleges.
These were part of “bilateral talks between president of the Nigerian Senate Senator David Mark and president of the Chinese Parliament Mr.Zhang Dejiang who doubles as the Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China in Abuja today”.
Senator Mark earlier requested his guest “to prevail on his government for assistance to Nigeria in the mass production of military hardware for the Navy, Army, Air Force and the Police as well as aircraft spare parts production centre in Nigeria”.
He also requested China’s government to support “Nigeria’s bid for the UN Security Council seat as non- permanent member and as the permanent member from Africa in an expanded UN Security Council”.
“He pleaded with the Chinese leader to facilitate a positive review of the cases of 366 Nigerians in Chinese prisons, 120 awaiting trial and four already sentenced to death under the transfer of prisoner arrangement”.
Besides the agreed exchange of parliamentary visits between the National Assembly and the parliament of China, Senator Mark demanded that China reciprocate Nigeria’s friendly visa regime by honoring Diplomatic Notes and simplifying visa procedures for Nigerians.
Although the trade and commercial ties between Nigeria and China have increased with a deficit of N270Billion against Nigeria, Mark requested that the imbalance be addressed by encouraging Chinese government and business community to increase its investments in the non-oil sector in Nigeria as well as offering duty waiver on Nigerian exports.
Mr. Dejiang noted that “China runs a friendly administration and upholds the sanctity of the rule of law but would table the requests of the Senate President before his home government for a possible review especially on those convicted for criminal offences”.
Dejiang promised cooperation with the government and people of Nigeria in all areas that would improve her economy and general welfare of the people.