The Chinese government said it was interested in collaborating with Kogi State for the siting of a nuclear energy plant.
Cui Jianchun, Chinese ambassador to Nigeria stated this on Monday in Lokoja when he was received by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi at the Government House.
Mr Cui said that his key interest as ambassador was to facilitate China’s investment and also utilise China’s technology for the benefit of Nigeria and certain states like Kogi.
He was accompanied by a delegation from the China National Nuclear Cooperation (CNNC).
Mr Cui said he was hopeful that the meeting would birth a historical moment, where the CNNC would be able to establish one of its two Proposed Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in the state.
He said that the establishment of a nuclear energy plant would further attract investment to the state, improve its infrastructure, tax revenue, job creation and attract vast social economic developments.
“China is a leading reference in areas of modern infrastructures amongst the international community.
“Although Nigeria and China have enjoyed good relationships and have achieved a lot, states like Kogi could also benefit from China’s vested interest.
“In the areas of modern infrastructure, Information Communication Technology, industry, investments and import/exports opportunities.
“I am also hopeful that China, which is the world’s largest consumption market, could in the nearest future have a policy where Nigeria, particularly states like Kogi, could export more products into the Chinese market,” Mr Cui said.
He said that the embassy would also work towards establishing a department of Nuclear Energy at the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, and other institutions in the state.
This, the envoy noted, will be part of the embassy’s plans to nurture local breed in the field.
Mr Cui also urged the Kogi government to, in a similar vein, encourage and facilitate some of its young engineering talents for exchange programmes in the country.
Responding, Mr Bello thanked the ambassador for finding Kogi worthy of such recommendation, noting that the meeting is between two sincere governments who are both interested in the advancement of their peoples.
“I want to thank the Chinese government for finding Kogi State worthy for such a huge investment and I appreciate you and your delegation for this auspicious visit.
“After the presentation I and the members of my cabinet were already very enthusiastic to internalise these plans in the state.
“And to foster the relationship with the Chinese government by engaging in every discussion in the interest of the people of the confluence state.
“I also want to guarantee you of a great relationship with the CNNC team with the state and the state would be glad to have a stronger tie with China,” the governor said.
Mr Bello also urged the Chinese government not to relent in sharing their wealth of experience with the Nigerian nation in areas where the country was currently facing temporary difficulties.
Fielding questions from their presentation, representatives of the CNNC noted that nuclear energy was a safe technology for humans, plants and the environment.
The nuclear plant, once established, would end the power challenge confronting the nation.