A local policeman walked past the Abuja Metro Station in Abuja, Nigeria, July 12, 2018. Nigeria in the month formally commissioned the China-assisted Abuja light rail transportation system, the first of its kind in West Africa. (Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)
by Olatunji Saliu
ABUJA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successful in putting the building blocks in place for the construction of a shared community between China and Africa, as well as opening a new window of opportunities for Nigeria, a spokesman of the Nigerian president has said.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Abuja, Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman, described the Beijing Summit as "excellent," saying it opened even a bigger window for Nigeria and Africa as a whole as there is a growing understanding that guarantees a win-win situation between China and African countries.
"We came back with a better understanding of what a good relationship with China would be," said Shehu, who was among over 20 top government officials led by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Beijing summit.
Shehu said Nigeria was pleased with the opportunities offered by the FOCAC summit and the signing of Sino-Nigerian cooperation documents, particularly as the most populous African country suffers a shortfall in infrastructure.
"There is a huge gap that needs to be filled and we have seen the level of commitment of China to Nigeria. We will take the opportunity with both hands and make sure that it works.
"We fully appreciate what this relationship means to us; dealing with a sincere partner that wants to help our own country to also achieve national development to achieve industrialization," the spokesman said.
During the summit, President Buhari and the Nigerian delegation held several meetings with Chinese enterprises who have indicated their interests in investing in various sectors of Africa's largest economy, he said.
"We are happy that Nigeria is one of the countries that China is having strong cooperation with because it is an opportunity to make a breakthrough with industrialization. China did it, we believe we can learn from them and also do it," he added.