By Asmau Ahmad
The Chinese Government says it’s set to begin construction of a World-Class edifice which it will be donating to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission by 2024.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun made this known when he took the Management of ECOWAS commission and representatives of the Nigerian government on a tour round the site in Abuja.
Cui said construction of the structure which would be fully funded by the Chinese government, showed the genuine interest and collaboration of China to Africa.
He also expressed delight that the major challenge of getting a permit to begin the construction of the complex from the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) would soon be resolved.
“I am the 14th Chinese ambassador, not only to Nigeria but also to ECOWAS.
“Today with this giant gift from China, I will like to say that my major purpose here is to try to promote this project.
“You know in China, this is a really important project, from Chinese tax payers, done by the Chinese government. As ambassador, it is my responsibility that I should contribute through my efforts and my wisdom to this project.
“And also, I will like to let you know why we do this. The first is about the friendship and the relationship.
“The Chinese government asked me last year how we can carry out this project and also I asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador, how we can proceed so, also the Ministry of Finance, so they support this project.
“That means the relationship between Nigeria and China is very important, and also, I want to emphasise the relationship with the 15 members of ECOWAS, we believe that every country has good relations with China.
“The second is we need an efficient, high-quality building, so this is the reason we gave the project to the company, this company is very famous in China. So, I think that I want to let you know that the ECOWAS will have a new office building and conference center within 24 months.
“China is the number one developing economy and I do believe that through this project, it will strengthen broader relationship, trust, benefit and mutual respect for member countries,” Cui said.
Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Damgtien Tchintchibidja thanked the Chinese government for their generosity and sincere interest in West Africa and the Nigerian government for hosting ECOWAS commission and other institutions.
“China has grown exponentially and I strongly believe that it is a model we should follow as Africans, and it has been done through proper planning, determination and hard work,” Tchintchibidja said.
Permanent Representative of Nigeria to ECOWAS, Ambassador Musa Nuhu who gave an update on the project, said that the little challenge to commencing the construction which was the land approval had been addressed.
He said the FCT minister had just granted a waiver of the initial payment of N212 million by the Department of Development Control, FCTA for the building approval.
He said that with this development, he was sure that all would be set for the commencement of construction as soon as possible.