Why China funded Nigeria’s new airport terminals – ambassador
Cui Jianchun, the ambassador, People’s Republic of China has revealed reasons behind China’s huge investment in the travel and hospitality sector, which also includes the newly built airport terminals across Nigeria.
According to Jianchun, with Nigeria’s huge population, resources, landscape and tourist attractions, the new terminals will attract more passengers to Nigeria, especially as the world opens to travel.
The new terminals at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano International Airport; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and Port Harcourt International Airport are the airport terminals funded from the China Exim bank facility to the Nigerian government.
Speaking in an interview session during the commissioning of the new terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) the ambassador said every year, China records about 103 million outbound travels.
He said if only one percent of these travellers come to Nigeria, it means Nigeria would be seeing 1.3 million inbound travels annually just from China. To make this happen, China has decided to invest in Nigeria’s hospitality sector to boost tourism and travel between the two countries.
He assured that the Chinese love to visit Africa and China is committed to ensuring the right infrastructures are in place to drive international travels between both countries.
“We have done some evaluations and assessments about this project. It is very important for Nigeria because Lagos is a metropolitan city. So we have built this to international standards. With this state-of-the-art terminal, I believe we can attract more passengers to Nigeria,” Jianchun said about the newly inaugurated Lagos airport terminal.
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“After COVID-19, countries are opening and people would like to come to Nigeria and travel out of Nigeria and they will do that through this gateway. Through this terminal, we can access the international community and people will benefit from this. This is a flagship project for China and Nigeria.”
Speaking on how China is helping Nigeria actualise infrastructural renewal, he said Nigeria is currently planning a huge railway project and pipeline and China is involved in these projects.
He said if Nigeria has a railway, it would be easy for people to travel.
“We are working hard and we are talking with the banks to do this for us. The banks are using their professional language. They are calculating the risks and how they can get the money back because we are in a difficult situation now. We are looking at how we can lift people out of poverty,” the ambassador explained.
“During my speech at the commissioning of the terminal, I told the president that the most important thing is the political support. So this is very important. The two countries from the top levels, from business levels, from people to people, from party to party, we need to work hard to build this trust. This will benefit the economy, security and international relationships.” Jianchun said.