The Chinese government has promised to fund the office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Prof. Tijjani Muhammad- Bande, for the next one year.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, after President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with the special envoy, Yang Jiechi, from the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.
Bande, who is Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was elected as President of the 74th UN General Assembly in June.
He is the second Nigerian to hold the office after Joseph Garba, a retired military officer and diplomat, who led the organ between 1989 and 1990.
The Minister said “On the global level, the Chinese have agreed to support with the United Nations reform for Africa to be presented in the security council.
“We have as you know had a Nigerian representative at the United Nations, Prof. Bande, elected as the next president of the General Assembly. The Chinese have provided a funding for that office so that he can function effectively over the next one year.”
At the meeting, he said the President Buhari was presented with an overview of the support and cooperation between China and Nigeria and how that can be taken forward.
“In the area of power, the President emphasized the mambilla power project and the importance of getting that moving again. They looked at the issues of airport, the progress of the airport terminals that the Chinese are helping to construct across the country.
“We also discussed the support of the cooperation in the area of agriculture as well and also encouraging Nigeria to export more to China. We talked about the China exhibition by the end of this year which will be a platform for us to also showcase what we can export, not just agricultural products but also finished products.
“China is also putting more money in the area of security, sharing of intelligence with our military, assistance with arms production and in the fight against terrorism.
“On the issue of Lake Chad, China has had a lot of experience with refilling dams and long range water project, and so Mr. President also feels that we need their support in that area. They are already supporting the Lake Chad Basin Commission and we are hoping that they will help us with regards to recharging of the Lake Chad,” he said.