Nigeria and China have completed arrangements to sign 328 million dollars agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 11 (NICTIB 11).

The Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who gave this hint in a statement issued on Saturday indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari, who arrived Beijing, China, on Saturday, would join his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to witness the signing of the agreement.

The Presidential aide stated further that the NICTIB 11 agreement would be between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) at the cost of $328 million provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank.

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

Shehu disclosed that President Buhari and his Chinese host will also witness the signing of the MoU on One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR).

It would be recalled that in 2013, the Chinese leader mooted the idea of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, with a view to integrating the development strategies of partnering countries.

He expatiated further: “During the High-Level Dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders, and Business representatives on the margins of FOCAC, the Nigerian delegation is also expected to sign no fewer than 25 MoUs.

“These include those proposed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA)’’, the Presidential aide added.

President Buhari pix on arrival in China (Sat Sept 1)
President Buhari on arrival in China (Sat Sept 1)

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

The Nigerian delegation at the airport to receive the President was Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Baba Ahmed Jidda, his wife, Zahra; the Deputy Chief of Mission, Amb. Bakori Aliyu Bakori and other Nigerian embassy senior staff, including the Defence Attaché, Brig-Gen. Temitope Ademola.