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China's no-visa policy in Nigeria, a "confidence- boosting mechanism": local media report
 (2014-02-14)

Source: Agencies

The Chinese government's recent announcement of visa exemption for Nigerian diplomats and senior government officials, which took effect from February 1, is a strategic "confidence-boosting mechanism" that places a premium on trust in the strategic partnership of both countries, a national newspaper in Nigeria wrote in its editorial report of Tuesday.

Peoples Daily Newspaper, one of Nigeria's widely-circulated local newspapers, hailed the decision by the Chinese government and said it believes this latest no-visa visit mechanism for officials of the West African country by China would accelerate the dynamic cooperation between the two nations.

"We at Peoples Daily salute the sagacity of China's leadership and its diplomatic establishment in making this generous gesture. We urge the Nigerian side to ensure that it is never abused," said the Abuja-based national newspaper.

According to the editorial report titled: "China's no-visa visits policy", the Peoples Daily Newspaper said although this new policy may not be a big deal; given the fact that officials might secure visas at a short notice anyway, and, therefore, whether they have visa access or not may not make much difference, such a gesture by the Chinese government -- which underscores the trust, confidence and mutual respect -- is a treasure that sovereign nations rarely confer on other nationals.

The newspaper editorial noted that Nigerian senior officials and even well known figures sometimes get frisked at the entry points of western nations, including Nigeria's long standing traditional partners with a long history of contacts and relationships.

"We are aware that currently China offers the most liberal visa regime to Nigerians wishing to visit that country," said the national newspaper.

"Among many diplomatic missions in Nigeria, the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China grants express requests for visas based on note verbal from the ministry of foreign affairs for non- holders of diplomatic and official passports," it added.

The Peoples Daily Newspaper is known in Nigeria to be a reputable, profitable and technologically-reliant media company offering world class services and products. It has a mission to be the market place of ideas and the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while delivering value to the stakeholders.

It said the scope of Nigeria-China cooperation is limitless, noting the bilateral relations between the two countries have been expanding rapidly and are a model for the rest of Africa with the Asian giant. Trade between the two sides has doubled in the past few years, it added.

"In the financial sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown great foresight by being the first African country to include the Yuan (Renminbi), the Chinese currency, in its foreign exchange reserves," said the newspaper, while recalling in 2012, Nigeria and China successfully conducted a joint marine survey in the Gulf of Guinea, once again leading the way in Africa on cooperation in marine studies.

The Peoples Daily Newspaper editorial team said it has hope that no pecuniary or vested interests will be allowed to stand in the way of fruitful China-Nigeria cooperation.

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