The Charge D’affaires of the Chinese Embassy, Zhang Yi has expressed China’s commitment to collaborate with Nigeria in cultural exchange programmes and infrastructure development.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, the Acting Ambassador to Nigeria made the pledge over the weekend in Abuja while paying the minister, Hannatu Musa Musawa, a courtesy call.

According to the statement, Yi emphasized the value of Nigeria and China working together, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

The envoy also outlined the Minister’s goals for infrastructure development and strategic alliances, particularly with regard to the advancement of the Abuja Creative City project.

The statement which was signed by the media aide to the Minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze reads in part: “China has been putting great efforts into supporting the sovereignty of Nigeria. We are also encouraging Chinese companies to come and invest in Nigeria. That is why a lot of Chinese companies have a huge presence here in Nigeria but the foundation of both countries wouldn’t be solid without cultural and people exchanges, and that is why my country attaches great importance to cultural tourism and people-to-people exchanges between China and Nigeria.

“Nigeria has a rich cultural background and we need to do Cultural Exchanges. We should get to know each other better to strengthen our relationship. We are planning to host President Tinubu in China in September and we hope you will be a part of the delegation so you can come and see the culture of China.”

The minister was quoted to have expressed the need for both countries to align in areas of culture to showcase their unique selling point to the world.

“I would like us to explore different programs and initiatives that we can do together at Davos or UNGA or the Olympics or something to show the world that China and Nigeria are very much aligned.

“Investment is very important for us and I think there are lots of investments to be made in Nigeria, especially with the ministry. We want to build infrastructure, one of which is the Abuja Creative City which is going to be a huge one-stop shop for everything culture and creative in Africa.

The Abuja Creative City will house film studios, arenas, museums, and galleries. We don’t have a museum in Abuja so we plan to have our own Louvre in Abuja.

“We are working with the FCT ministry to identify some potential locations for the project. We want to have China Town, Korea Town, India Town, Brazil Town, etc in the Creative City. These are some of the things we can collaborate on, and I know that in terms of infrastructure, China is the best, so I look forward to some collaborations”.

The Minister and the Ambassador also talked about the developments from the January 12, 2022, online inaugural meeting of the Culture and Tourism Subcommittee of the Intergovernmental Committee of China and Nigeria.

The two parties went over and talked about the recent successes between China and Nigeria as well as the potential future growth of their cooperation in tourism and culture. They decided to seize the chance presented by the subcommittee’s formation to advance bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperative tourism.

It is anticipated that both countries will gain a great deal from this renewed commitment to cooperation, which will spur economic expansion, cross-cultural interaction, and creative innovation.