Out of the hundreds of countries around the world, not many have been able to establish a win-win relationship like Nigeria and China. This has made the rest of the world to ponder and study about the cooperative relationship existing between both countries.
The burden of this essay seeks to define the terms Nigeria, China, and symphony, navigate through the history of the relationship, explore a case study about my personal experience, examine the similarities between both countries, highlight some areas of need and lend a voice about how to further strengthen the symphony.
Definition of terms
Nigeria is an African country on the Gulf of Guinea, with many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves. With an estimated population of over 200 million, it is the most populous black nation on earth.
China, officially the Peoples Republic of China is a country in East Asia and the world’s most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion.
Symphony is used as a metaphor for win-win cooperation between Nigeria and China.
History of Nigeria-China relationship
Nigeria and China have held a long informal relationship before the independence of the former. On the 10th of February 1971, eleven years after Nigeria gained her independence, a formal bilateral relations was established between both countries.
Striking similarities between Nigeria and China
*Both share October 1st as Independence Day
*Both have over 300 languages
*Both have resilient citizens who never give up.( The Covid-19 outbreak is a testament to this fact)
*Both are endowed with natural resources
*Both have rich historical backgrounds
*Both had humble beginnings
*Both had struggles before getting to where they presently occupy
*Both have hardworking citizens
*Both are the most populous countries in their respective continents
*Both have foreign citizens living in foreign countries
*Both have a variety of nutritious food
*Both are the giants of their continents
*Both nations have great religious diversity
*Both have citizens with migratory tendencies.
Case study about my experience
During my childhood days, China was one of the few countries conversant with me. The word “China” was practically on the lips of infants using cradle to the aged using a walking aid. Why was it so? The Chinese relationship with Nigeria made virtually all the toys for kids to come with the inscription, “made in China”. During recreation times at school, it was common for my peers and I to try pronouncing the word China after English lessons. China practically made the childhood of many Nigerian kids adventurous because of the array of cheap toys available to common Nigerian kids like me.
After my school activity, I often come home to meet my mum in the kitchen. While she attempts to slice some onions, pepper and tomato, the inscription, “made in China” is boldly inscribed on the surface of the sharp knife and other cooking utensils.
My dad who worked as an engineer at a cement factory often returns home late at night. When he resumes for work the next day, he is able to execute his duties using tools and machines made from China.
Although Nigeria is blessed with crude oil and other natural resources, over 60% of her population engage in agriculture. This makes farmers using machines like tractors and harvesters to appreciate Chinese products. These machines from China are also shaping the mechanization of agriculture and ensuring food security for my farming community.
Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million people but due to the limited number of learning institutions to cater for the educational needs of her youths, many seek scholarships abroad. One hot afternoon while I went about my duty, a friend of mine called me to inform me about a Chinese scholarship he was applying for and sent me the link to apply. This led me to research if it was genuine. To my greatest surprise, I discovered that the Chinese Government offers fully funded scholarships to hundreds of Nigerian students to study in China. No wonder, the burden of educating the youths is gradually easing from the shoulders of the Nigerian Government.
During the year 2000, the Nigerian Government started making effort to privatize the telecom industry. Despite the effort of the Government, the cost of phones were very exorbitant for the common person. As Chinese phones started gaining entry into Nigeria, it destroyed the bottleneck of phone monopoly and crashed the price of mobile phones. No wonder, common people like me and other Nigerians are proud to own a mobile phone and actively participate in the democratization of the internet courtesy of Chinese gadgets.
When the Nigerian railway system collapsed, the Nigerian Government contacted the Chinese Government to provide expertise to revolutionize the sector. Through the help of these Chinese engineers, the Nigerian railway is back to life.
In addition, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr CUI Jianchun, on behalf of the Chinese Government donated 470000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Nigeria to help her fight the pandemic. The country also promised to help Nigeria in the local production of vaccines to satisfy demand. This provision is boosting the immunization of Nigerians against Covid-19.
Presently, I work at a provision store where snacks, confectionaries and other household goods are sold. As I moved from shelf to shelf while writing this essay, I discovered that many of the products on sale were either produced from China or had a bearing with China. The Tiger head battery, eraser, and pencil sharpener had the inscription, “made in China” inscribed upon the pack. This testifies to the fact that the relationship between Nigeria and China is a win for Nigerians.
According to Senator David Mark, there were about 10,000 Nigerians living in China. These Nigerians mostly based in the commercial cities are helping to build the economy of China. During the early 2000 when African migration to China increased, the crime rates too increased. As law-abiding citizens, the Nigerian community in China employed the vigilante approach (a common practice used in Nigeria for community policing) to curb crimes around many Chinese communities.
Some Nigerians have also settled in China to practice inter marriages with Chinese citizens. This practice has further strengthened the symphony between both countries.
The symphony between both countries is waxing strong yearly. For instance in 2020, Nigeria exported crude petroleum, petroleum gas and raw copper to China to feed her industries. Products refined from these materials were used to cater for the needs of Chinese citizens.
China too within the same year exported synthetic filament yarn woven fabric, non-kit women’s suits and telephones to Nigeria to cater for the needs of many Nigerians. This is a testament to the win-win relationship between both countries.
Areas where Nigeria needs further help from China
*Democratization of digital appliances
*Contribution towards local production of machines
*Establishment of textile industry for local production within Nigeria
*Provision of international grants to Nigerian youths to reduce unemployment
*Extension of scholarships to technicians
*Waiver of some pending loans
Areas where China needs further help from Nigeria
*Timely supply of raw materials
*Provision of preventive ideas to halt future pandemics (lessons from Nigeria’s effort to stop Ebola)
*Projection of Chinese image as a good nation
*Prompt payment of loans received
*Helping China to address regional imbalances
*Making Chinese market viable internationally
*Helping China overturn her falling growth rate.
How to strengthen the symphony between Nigeria and China
*Building more trust
*Timely response to plights affecting both Nations
*Encouraging citizens of both countries through juicy opportunity offers
*Both embassies should sponsor tourist trips for host citizens
*Exportation of culture
*Better management of conflicts
*Enhancing positive engagement
*Publicity of both countries achievements..
The win-win relationship between Nigeria and China is a testament to the cooperative relationship existing between both countries. Effort should be made to further strengthen this achievement through healthy bilateral relations for the benefit of Nigerian and Chinese citizens.
Zhao, Shengnan (2012-05-25) “70 arrested in Nigeria freed”, China Daily
China-Nigeria relations Abuja: Embassy of the peoples Republic of China, 2004-07-08
“Nigeria-China Relations Deepens As Senator David Mark visits Chines parliament” Africa independent Television.2018-02-01.