The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has expressed its readiness to engage in meaningful research activities on the business, culture and the needs of the people of Nigeria and China.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Development Services, Professor Folashade Ogunsola, who made this known recently at a seminar on research and collaboration opportunities between Nigeria and China, said the move would unlock more mutually beneficial opportunities.
She also expressed delight about the Institute of Nigeria-China Development Studies (INCDS), the organiser of the programme and how it is geared towards harnessing research and collaboration potential between the two countries.
Established in November 2018, she said it is already a resource centre for Chinese foreign investors and a think tank for the Nigeria-China bilateral relationship.
“We would love to see better relationship, cordiality, love of values exist between Nigeria and China which is beyond the trading relationship that is in existence.”
Ogunsola said both nations need to find ways to work together and focus on the areas that need to be developed and gaps that need to be filled.
“With the institute, a symbiotic relationship and bidirectional relationship can exist. There is a lot we can learn from each other,” she added.
The Director of the institute and a Professor of Economics, Olufemi Saibu, said it would facilitate inward and outward trade relations between the two countries.
He said the vision of the institute is to “become an institute for exchange of intellectual ideas and research excellence in pursuit of knowledge for development, mutual trade and economic activities that will impact positively the Chinese-Nigeria economies.”
He said since inception, selected people from the institute have paid a visit to China on two occasions where issues bordering on research and collaboration were discussed.
“The institute would provide a platform for profound and innovative research which will help propel Chinese investors and encourage investments, especially as relates to China-Nigeria relationship.”
Saibu also disclosed the intention of the Chinese government to establish a Chinese-African Institute, one on South Africa and the other in UNILAG, Nigeria.
At the seminar, the ‘Nigeria-China Times Newspaper’, a publication of the institute and the Chinese Investors Association for Development and Promotion, was unveiled.
The Chairman of Chinese Investment Association and the institute’s co-Chairman, Ronnie Liu spoke on ‘Business and Investment Opportunities in Nigeria and China’.
He said these opportunities abound and remain to be tapped by the people of the two countries.
“The association is trying to help more Chinese come to Nigeria and know more about Nigeria in order to foster collaboration in trade and research. We hope to use the platform to train more Nigerians,” Liu said.