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Lai Mohammed pleads to Chinese Ambassador to fast track loan approval



On Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, during the visit of the Chinese Ambassador to his office in Abuja, was quoted to have asked for favor from the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Chun Jian Chun.

Lai Mohammed requested that Chun Juan helps Nigeria to fast-track the evaluation and approval of a $500 million loan which is purposed for the execution of three major projects in the broadcast sector.

Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, signed a statement that indicated that Mohammed also called for the signing of the two Memoranda of Understanding between Nigeria and China in an effort to boost tourism between the two countries.

“Worthy of mention, Your Excellency, is the $500 million loan which we are seeking from the China Export-Import Bank for three major projects — the digitisation of the NTA, the construction of a headquarters complex and transmission network for Integrated Television Services, a Federal Government-owned signal distributor that is a major component of the country’s Digital Switch Over, and the construction of an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu.

”I want to use this opportunity to appeal to Your Excellency to continue to use your good offices to fast-track the evaluation and approval process of the loan by the China Export-Import Bank, and to thank you for your efforts so far in this regard.

“There are two MoU between Nigeria and China on the Facilitation of Group Travels by Chinese Tourists to Nigeria and Travel Facilitation through the Approved Destination Status. Though the two MoU date back to 2019, they have not been signed. It is important that our two countries work together to negotiate and sign these MoU to promote tourism between them.”

Ambassador Chui points that China was re-strategising its bilateral relations with Nigeria to focus on Growth, Development and Progress.

He said the new strategy, tagged ‘5 GIST’ will be a holistic, complete and sustained approach to focus on political support, economic cooperation, security and military collaboration, international affairs coordination, infrastructure, ICT, industry, investment, import and export, among others.

The Ambassador said the new focus will be anchored on people-to-people communication and relationship as well as cultural exchanges.