by Olatunji Saliu
China on Thursday further pledged support for Nigeria’s fight against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and expressed full confidence in the West African country’s determination to defeat the virus ultimately.
“China and Nigeria are allies in this global war against the pandemic. To defeat the virus, solidarity and cooperation are our most potent weapon,” said Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, while leading a Chinese delegation to deliver funds and relief items to the Nigerian government through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
“We have full confidence in Nigeria’s determination, capacity, and capability to defeat the virus ultimately. And we believe Nigeria will continue to treat the Chinese nationals here as your own,” Zhou said.
According to the envoy, China will never forget the invaluable support it received from the Nigerian government, as well as the country’s citizens who chose to stay put in Wuhan, or other parts of China “at the most demanding stage of its outbreak response.”
“Despite the daunting task remaining at home, China firmly supports Nigeria’s fight against the outbreak and stands ready to assist, if needed, to the best of its ability. China will continue to prove itself a good friend, partner, and brother of Nigeria through concrete actions,” the Chinese envoy said.
At the ceremony to present the China aid, 1,500 pieces of N95 respirator masks, 13,000 pieces of surgical masks, 4,750 pieces of disposable gowns, 850 pieces of the infra-red thermometer, 4,750 pairs of medical goggles, 9,750 pairs of gloves, and 9,750 pairs of shoe covers were donated, with more to be delivered later.
The Chinese business community, under the umbrella body of China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria (CGCCN), also donated over 48 million naira (over 123,000 U.S. dollars) to Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19.
This is in demonstration of the friendship between China and Nigeria, and the multiple bilateral cooperations between them, said Tony Ye, president of the CGCCN, a 160-member body of Chinese companies in the most populous African country.
Ye said apart from keeping to the laid down rules by the Nigerian government, the CGCCN members had been asked to combine strength with their social responsibilities in working together with the Nigerian authorities to fight mankind’s common enemy.
“Thanks to the rapid response of the (Nigerian) government, the professional efforts of medical staff, and the active cooperation of the people, the anti-epidemic effect is gratifying,” the Chinese executive noted.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the Nigerian government, Sani Aliyu, the national coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, described relations between the two countries as a “fruitful one” and lauded China’s immense contribution to the infrastructure development of Nigeria, as well as human development. “We are also pleased to see that we have friends that are really supporting us in our fight against this epidemic. As we always say, a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
“China has contributed immensely to our fight against this virus. We are aware of the huge work that you are doing in providing isolation facilities, particularly in Abuja and also other parts of the country,” said Aliyu, who represented Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Nigerian Government at the ceremony.
“You have contributed to the current commodities; not only ventilators but also protective equipment that have been distributed across our health institutions. You have also provided us technical assistance in terms of manpower. Nigeria is very grateful for this,” Aliyu said.
He said the Nigerian authorities will continue to work with China to ensure the pandemic is brought to a halt as soon as possible, while also looking forward to the post-pandemic period when Nigeria starts to recover from the huge challenge occasioned by the COVID-19.
“As a country, we are impressed with the measures you (China) put in place to control this pandemic right from the beginning,” he added. Enditem