Nigeria, China on the Cusp of $328m ICT Deal

Nigeria will sign an agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 11 (NICTIB 11) with China following President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the country.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said during the six-day official visit, President Buhari will join his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to witness the signing of the agreement between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) at the cost of $328m facilities provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank.

According to Shehu, the bank facility is for the development of NICTIB 11 project which is consistent with the Buhari administration’s commitment to incorporating the development of ICT into national strategic planning under the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

President Buhari is also expected to witness the signing of the MOU on One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR), alongside Mr Jinping.

The statement posits that the Chinese leader had proposed the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013, with a view to integrating the development strategies of partnering countries.

On his arrival at Capital International Airport in Beijing, President Buhari was received by top Chinese government officials, including the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian.

Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Baba Jidda, and his wife, Zahra; the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ambassador Bakori Aliyu Usman; Consular-General of Nigeria in Guangzhou, Shairudeen Oloko; Consular-General of Nigeria in Shanghai, Anderson Madubuike; and Defence Attaché, Brigadier General Temitope Ademola, were also among those who received the President.

President Buhari is expected to hold a meeting with Nigerians living in China on Sunday.

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