Remarks by Amb Deng Boqing at the Hand-Over Ceremony of China-Aid Rural Primary Schools
（From Chinese Embassy in Nigeria）
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my privilege today to attend the Hand-over Ceremony of four China-Aid rural primary schools. First, on behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all the distinguished guests for your presence here, and especially to the Nigerian Ministry of Education for making adequate preparations for this ceremony.
As far as in 2006, at the Beijing Summit of China-Africa Cooperation Forum, the Chinese Government declared Eight Measures to help African countries raise their people's livelihood and further promote the friendly relations between China and African countries. One of the measures was to provide aid for 126 African rural schools, including the construction of 96 new schools. Among them, 4 rural primary schools were to be built in Nigeria. Following consultation and deliberations with the Nigerian Government, the four schools were designated to 4 locations of FCT, Katsina, Kaduna, and Ogun State. With a total investment of over 500 million Naira, the schools have been built to contain 1,200 pupils and are now ready to be handed over to the Nigerian government.
Three Chinese companies have involved themselves in the construction of the 4 schools. They are CCECC, the constructor of the schools in Kaduna and Katsina State, Anhui Construction Engineering Group Company for the one in FCT, Guangdong Xinguang International Group for the one in Ogun State. The companies have made tremendous efforts to ensure an earlier hand-over of the schools. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to tender my respect and congratulations to them. Thank you!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you may know, the past February 10th just marked the 41st Anniversary of China-Nigeria diplomatic relations. Mentioning the bilateral relations, people would always think of the fast growing trade volume between the two countries. Indeed, the trade figure last year has already surpassed 10 billion US dollars. However, what I intend to emphasize here is that, trade is just one small part of the fruitful results of China-Nigeria strategic partnership. There are also extensive communications and cooperations between the two countries in the fields of politics, culture, education, science and technology, sports, etc. The 4 primary schools handed over today are just another good example of that.
With it becoming the world's second economy, China has drawn more and more expectations from other countries. However, as the most populous and largest developing country on the earth, China also shoulders an extraordinary burden. Even with the implementation of family planning policy, newborn population in China still reaches 16 million each year, causing a net increase of 7 million in the population. China's per capita GDP still ranks around 100th in the world. Uneven development between the east and west regions continues to exist. About 100 million people's net income is still less than one US dollar a day. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao once remarked that, huge achievements would shrink a lot if divided by the 1.3 billion population while tiny problems get amplified if multiplied by that 1.3 billion.
Although confronted with various development problems, the Chinese government and people have never forgotten our African brothers and sisters, and especially your precious support in the past few decades. China will try her best to provide selfless aids and to achieve mutual development with her African friends.
Take Nigeria as an example. Besides the aforementioned four rural primary schools, another 7 projects have been implemented or are being implemented in Nigeria in recent years. We built 600 boreholes in 14 states in 2009. Nearly 1 million boxes of anti-malaria drugs has been donated in the past 5 years and another 1 million boxes is about to be donated. We have also set up a malaria prevention and treatment center in Abuja. The construction of a 150-bed comprehensive hospital is to be completed by the first quarter of 2012 in FCT. We will continue to provide the hospital with a supplementary grant of medical equipments and materials worth 250 million Naira. We are also going to build a Nigeria-China Friendship Culture Center in downtown Abuja and to execute a solar-energy project to upgrade the existing traffic control signals in the capital. And besides, China has also completed training of about 2,400 Nigerian officials and technicians since 2000. Just last year, the number reached 371.
What I want to mention particularly is that, the Chinese aid to African countries takes no preconditions and stands for the mutual assistance between poor friends. China has always kept in mind that it is still a developing country and will never put itself into a high-up position to look down upon others. In the process of implementing the aid, the Chinese engineers and workers usually work together with the Nigerian staff at the construction site, so as to save on the expenditure of the project and to achieve more with the limited funding resources.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
As two similar countries with ancient civilization, China and Nigeria both enjoy tremendous potential of development. I firmly believe that, as long as we work together, treat each other as equal and sincerely help each other, there will be a better future for our two countries and the world at large.