Nigeria is the most pro-Chinese nation in the world.
Or at least that’s what a BBC World Service Poll conducted in 2014 concludes. And for 45 years (since February 10, 1971), Nigeria has maintained bilateral trade relations with the People’s Republic.
Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has led a delegation of senior officials, first to China, and later to Indonesia, where they are expected to meet with their counterparts. The meetings are intended to further bilateral trade and strategic cooperation between the countries involved.
“As a nation, we believe that there are so many lessons we can learn when we co-operate with a nation like China. My meeting with my counterpart in China will be around strengthening the relationship between our two countries, particularly in the areas of science and technology”, the minister said.
Same China from the Great Firewall of China? Same China that is world famous for their aggressive internet censorship? The same China that held a “World Internet Conference”, that was attended by Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and other censor-happy nations.
Now, I’m not sure what Nigeria is going to learn from China, as far as technology goes, especially when there are lots more liberal countries across the world. Hello Denmark? Switzerland? USA?
Though, now that I think about it, it’s not that far-fetched. I mean, let’s not act like we’re not in a country where the Senate has called for internet censorship on multiple occasions, and has gone as far as ordering cyber-surveillance gear and employing hackers.
During the trip, Dr. Onu will also visit the China Academy of Space Technology, the China Space Corporation in Beijing and witness the launch of the Chinese Satellite in Xichang on January 15.
That’s a great idea!
He’s probably going to learn how not to lose a N40bn satellite. We’ll see how that turns out soon enough.
Reports say he will also attempt to attract direct foreign investment from Chinese and Indonesian businessmen, to spur growth in the Nigerian Science and Technology sector. China is an e-Commerce, and industrial powerhouse though, so I reckon there are some positives to be drawn from the trip, asides from the possible cash injections into our nation’s technology sector.
Dr. Onu is expected to return to Nigeria on January 21.