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Remarks of H.E. Dr. Zhou Pingjian of China to Nigeria, at the commissioning ceremony of the first phase of the Abuja rail transit project

(From Chinese Embassy in Nigeria)

2018/07/13

12 July 2018, Abuja

Your Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

It gives me great honor and pleasure to attend the commissioning ceremony of the first phase of the Abuja rail mass transit project. I thank honorable minister Bello of FCT very much for your kind invitation.

I took the modern train from Kaduna to Abuja in November 2016. I shook hands with hardworking Nigerians and their CCECC teammates on the Lagos-Ibadan railway construction site in Papalanto last month. I have traveled to more than two-thirds of the 36 states across Nigeria in less than two years. I am fortunate to be an eyewitness of so many great things happening in this great nation in spite of the challenges it faces. On the occasion of the commissioning of the very first light rail in west Africa here today, please allow me to warmly congratulate President Buhari, the government and good people of Nigeria, for making steady and sustainable progress for Nigeria's peace and prosperity. My congratulations also go to CCECC and China Exim Bank for playing a good part in getting this job well done in a fantastic One Belt and One Road (OBOR) team spirit.

In April 2016, President Buhari paid a successful state visit to China. President Xi Jinping and President Buhari reached consensus to deepen China-Nigeria cooperation across-the-board. Under the guidance of this important consensus, the cordial China-Nigeria relations have entered a new stage of rapid development. As the largest developing country in the world, China highly values its relations with Nigeria, the largest developing country in Africa. Indeed, China-Nigeria cooperation is brotherly South-South cooperation between equal partners. China remains committed to stepping up its mutually beneficial cooperation with Nigeria in a new era.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Africa have always been a community with a shared future. We Chinese appreciate the African wisdom, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in September under the theme of China-Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation. President Xi is looking forward to participating in the Beijing summit with African leaders to discuss plans for the development of China-Africa cooperation so as to improve the well-being of the Chinese and African peoples and promote world peace and development.

It is our firm belief that President Buhari's attendance at the upcoming FOCAC Beijing Summit will make important contribution to China-Africa cooperation and bring about new opportunities for the comprehensive development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership.

I thank you for your attention.

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