Chinese Banks to Operate in Nigeria Soon, Says Envoy

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Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Cui Jianchun, has said Nigerians should be expecting Chinese banks to start operation in the country.

He also said that Nigerian banks should also be expected to be given the same reception in China, noting that this is one of the major requirements to make the Currency Swap agreement between Nigeria and China work.

The Chinese envoy, who said he was working hard to ensure Nigerian banks commence operations in China, revealed that he was taking the necessary steps that would lead to the setting up of Chinese financial institutions in Nigeria.

Responding to questions from journalists on the success of the currency swap between the two countries at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Jianchun explained that the framework for the N750 billion initiative was being expanded by the Chinese and Nigerian central banks.

The envoy said: “The agreement is being implemented by the two central banks; the framework would be expanded. I believe it is already working and I am working to have Chinese banks here in Nigeria and also for Nigerian banks to operate in China.”

Jianchun, who said the Chinese government was desirous of having closer collaboration between the Chinese lawmakers and their Nigerian counterparts, said the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in Senegal in late November.

He said since its establishment over 21 years ago, FOCAC has bolstered high-level interactions and political trust between China and Africa, delivering a leap in Sino-Africa relations.

Jianchun said: “FOCAC has now turned itself into a pacesetter for cooperation with Africa and a fine example of mutually beneficial cooperation in the world.

“Africa and China have stepped up mutual support on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, work together for greater democracy in international relations, stay committed to multilateralism and align global governance reforms with the common interests of developing countries.”