It was a great day of cultural display and exchange in Abuja at the Chinese Cultural Centre as the Abuja Chinese community celebrated its new year’s day, Saturday, January 25.
The day was characterized by cultural entertainment and exchanges as Nigerian school children adorned Chinese cultural attires in varied colours, danced to Chinese tunes and even sang the country’s folk songs in Mandarin.
The event graced by school children, the diplomatic community, the academia and a retinue of media organizations held that bright day kicking off at 10 am and dragging into the afternoon at 2pm. It was attended by over 1000 Nigerian and Chinese guests.
The event afforded an opportunity for the Chinese community in the capital city of Abuja to interact with their Nigerian friends and foreign national in the city, most of whom were from the diplomatic corps.
The event was also graced by government officials including the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations, Hon. Yusuf Buba who spoke to the media on the commendable friendship between China and Nigeria, a relationship that will in the next few weeks be 49 years old.
In the interview he granted the media, Buba praised the virile relationship and expressed the hope that the cordiality will steadily improve as Nigerian and the Chinese nationals have started a higher interaction in cultural exchanges.
He expressed satisfaction that at the event, Nigerian children performed Chinese dances, songs, opera and some other cultural forms including arts and paintings.
He also said that regarding politics, leadership and economy, Chinese companies in Nigeria have been doing a lot to execute projects in the country and also helping to raise quality manpower through the employment of Nigerians and execution of projects that have made good quality impacts in transportation, energy, oil and gas and many more.
Also speaking on the importance of the celebration, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian said over the years Nigeria and China have forged a great and deep relationship in so many ways.
He particularly said that China has been a good partner of the country in economic development and expressed delight that even the trade gap between the two countries has started narrowing as China has tremendously increased its trade and import volume from Nigeria by about 70% with rapidly expanding trade volumes.
He said China has always appreciated the relationship with Nigeria by being the highest buyer of her agric produce and also helping in its industrial and technology development.
The Chinese envoy assured that with the commendable relationship between the two especially on the platform of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) where Nigeria is a major and influential partner in the past 20 years, the two countries have greater heights to attain together.
Ambassador Zhou also mentioned the willingness of China to partner Nigeria in what he described as Made-in-Nigeria-with-China in Nigeria’s quest for industrial advancement and local production with Chinese partners whose business interests keep expanding in Nigeria in so many sectors.
At the cultural display, the iconic Chinese dragon mascot, kungfu, Chinese folk songs, dances, costume and many others featured prominently even with the Nigerian school children that study Chinese language displaying their skills in the new language whose popularity is fast catching up in local schools.