President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Beijing met with a delegation from Elion Resources Group (ELION), a leading Chinese green industry enterprise, led by its Chairman Wang Wenbiao.
At the meeting, President Buhari who was in China for the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), noted the significant achievements of ELION in restoring the Kubuqi Desert in northern China’s Inner Mongolia.
Buhari invited ELION to explore cooperation opportunities in Nigeria in the area of desertification control and development of new energy resources.
At the opening ceremony of this year’s FOCAC summit on September 3, Chinese President Xi Jinping had pledged that “to build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, China will, on the basis of the ten cooperation plans already adopted, launch eight major initiatives in close collaboration with African countries in the next three years and beyond.”
One of the major initiatives focused on green development. In this regard, China had decided to “expand exchanges and cooperation with Africa on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.”
The meeting between President Buhari and the company’s leadership represents part of the practical efforts of ELION, a global leader in desertification control, to demonstrate its commitment to the key initiatives proposed by President Xi, including the Green Development Initiative.
Buhari, noted that Nigeria, located in Africa, one of the areas in the world faced with the challenges of desertification, had taken desertification control as part of its strategic priority and was willing to learn from the Kubuqi Model and experience in desertification control.
He also expressed expectations of cooperation with ELION in sand combating techniques and development of new energy business in the desert.
In his response, Wang Wenbiao said under the guidance of China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative, ELION was poised to conduct researches on desertification control in Nigeria, a country with abundant resources, and promote the progress of desertification control in West Africa, and even the whole African continent using the Kubuqi Model.
Prior to the meeting, ELION held talks with Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in which both parties reached an initial agreement on the cooperation on desertification control and other areas.