The Chinese government has pledged to fund the office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, for the next one year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed on Wednesday.
Onyeama made the disclosure following a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Yang Jiechi, a special envoy from the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping.
Bande, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was elected President of the 74th UN General Assembly in June.
As the sole candidate for the position, Bande was elected through acclamation at the 87th plenary meeting of the Assembly in New York.
He is the second Nigerian to hold the office after Joseph Garba, a retired military officer and diplomat, who led the body between 1989 and 1990.
According to Onyeama: “On the global level, the Chinese have agreed to support the United Nations reform for Africa to be presented in the security council.
“We have had, as you know, a Nigerian representative at the United Nations, Prof. Bande, elected as the next president of the General Assembly. The Chinese have provided funding for that office so that he can function effectively over the next one year.”
Onyeama said that, at the meeting with President Buhari, he was presented with an overview of the support and cooperation between China and Nigeria and how that can be taken forward.
According to him, “In the area of power, the President emphasised the Mambilla power project and the importance of getting that moving again. They looked at the issues of airports, the progress of the airport terminals that the Chinese are helping to construct across the country.
“We also discussed the support and cooperation in the area of agriculture as well and also encouraging Nigeria to export more to China. We talked about the China exhibition by the end of this year, which will be a platform for us to also showcase what we can export, not just agricultural products but also finished products.
“China is also putting more money in the area of security, sharing of intelligence with our military, assistance with arms production and in the fight against terrorism.
“On the issue of Lake Chad, China has had a lot of experience with refilling dams and long range water projects. And so Mr President also feels that we need their support in that area. They are already supporting the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and we are hoping that they will help us with regards to recharging of the Lake Chad.”
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