China and Nigeria held a strategic discussion in Nigeria’s Abuja on Thursday to strengthen consular cooperation.

The Abuja forum provided the platform for stakeholders and consular officials of the two countries to discuss the impediments and proffer right solutions to consular matters.

In his keynote address at the meeting, Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, said the meeting was necessary as “China always attaches great importance to the relationship with Nigeria and other African countries.”

According to Zhou, through friendly discussion and communication, both China and Nigeria can deepen their bilateral strategic partnership, as well as nurture more conducive environment for the pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

“People-to-people exchanges are the foundation of China-Nigeria cooperation. To tap the bilateral cooperation potential to the maximum, the Chinese side has taken many concrete steps to facilitate people-to-people exchanges and improve consular services,” the envoy said.

For the past few years, he noted, the volume of Chinese visas issued to Nigerians has been steadily on the increase, adding the embassy had rendered quality services for a large number of Nigerians traveling to China for business.

Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Mohammed Bello lauded the achievements of Sino-Nigeria cooperation, saying “a substantial progress has been made so far.”

Talking about trade development, the recent decade has witnessed an increase in the trade volume between the two nations, noted Yakubu Buba, head of the Nigeria-China relations committee in the Nigerian parliament.

Buba said the Nigerian parliament was working to further support cooperation between the countries in all areas.

Stakeholders who delivered goodwill messages at the meeting included members of the Chinese communities in Nigeria, representatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Immigration Service, to mention a few. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/