The partnership deal was signed by Governor Nasir el-Rufai and the Acting Governor of Hebei Province, Mr Wang Xiadong at the Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria.
The signing was witnessed by the Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian and the President Worldwide of China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), Zhad Dianlong among other officials of the Kaduna State government and visiting Hebei Province.
In his address, Governor El-Rufai commended the team for reciprocating his government’s visit to China two months ago, adding that the state and Hebei Province have a lot in common and would benefit immensely from any partnership.
“We invited our private sector because we believe it is the private sector that would take advantage of the enormous opportunities that exist in commercial, industrial and business between the two states.
“Like Hebei Province, agriculture is the mainstay of our economy. We are interested in discussions on ranching and how Hebei Province can link up some of our investors to establish manufacturing industry here in Kaduna State,” he said.
Mr Xiadong, on his part, said Hebei Province, which has a population of 74 million people, is a leading industrial province globally and in China in the production of steel, cement, glass, photovoltaic cells, equipment manufacturing and agriculture (meat production).
He added that the province is also strong in cotton farming, ranching, solar panel production, maintenance, repairs and overhaul of aircraft and agricultural machinery.
“The last time you visited Hebei Province, you discussed with 40 entrepreneurs and during that visit, we agreed to have great effort to improve both Hebei Province and CCECC in Nigeria and Kaduna State. Governor el-Rufai reminded us to visit Kaduna together with Hebei Province businessmen to know more about Kaduna State and today (Wednesday) the promise has come true.
“The entrepreneurs are ready to cooperate with Kaduna, including the iron and steel group. We know that Kaduna is a big state of agriculture with hardworking people, so we have so much in common. We believe that with Governor El-Rufai and CCECC, we will improve our exchanges and discussions for a brighter future,” Xiaodong stated.
He also noted that the delegation was ready to “carry out pragmatic cooperation with Kaduna State of Nigeria in steel, cement, glass, photovoltaic cells, equipment manufacturing and agriculture”.
“We want to encourage powerful entrepreneurs to develop agriculture (planting and processing). We want to engage in road construction, urban construction as well as transportation infrastructure under BOT, PPP and EPC arrangements,” the Acting Governor added.