Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has commended China leadership quality, as the country’s ruling party, Communist Party of China (CPC), clocks 100.
In a congratulatory message to CPC at its centenary age, Obasanjo attributed the success and growth of China to the consistency and doggedness of the ruling party in its 100 years of existence.
Obasanjo, in the message, recalled how the decision and policies of the founding fathers of the Peoples’ Republic of China marketed China to the world and consequently rubbed off positively on global economies, including Nigeria.
“The party has led the country from the era of Chairman Mao to become the economic powerhouse it is today. At $16.64 trillion GDP, it’s the second largest economy after USA with $22.68 trillion GDP.
“With the founding of the People’s Republic of China, headed by Mao Zedong who is regarded as the Founding Father of Modern China, China’s leaders began their exploration of the road to socialist industrialization and modernization. “Working towards the goal of economic modernization, their strategy moved from ‘national industrialization’ to four modernizations. Mao was responsible for many of the political initiatives that transformed the face of China”
The elder statesman boasted of how he enabled a sustained relationship with China during his tenure as the President of Nigeria, a development which he said was able to strengthen the bond between the two countries till date.
“Since establishing diplomatic relations with China in 1971, Nigeria’s relationship with China has developed into one of the most important bilateral relationships maintained by either country. The relationship has broadened and deepened with China’s growing power and interest in securing its regional interests (particularly within the South China Sea), and taking its place as a major global actor. China and Nigeria have signed a number of agreements on trade, economic and technological cooperation as well as on investment protection.
“In May 1999 when Nigeria returned to constitutional democracy, I visited China twice in 2001 and 2005 respectively with my Chinese counterpart reciprocating both visits. The combination of domestic political and economic reforms and policy re-alignment enabled Nigeria to re-open dialogue and cooperation with major trading partners.
“As a result, there was evidence of growth in the country’s trade relations with its traditional allies as well as emerging economies such as India and China. Indeed, by 2004-2005, China has succeeded in displacing other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands as Nigeria’s biggest trading partner.
The former President also acknowledged the role of China in Nigeria’s infrastructure development, notably in construction of railway lines and road reconstruction across the country.
He urged Nigeria to learn from China’s innovative approaches that led it to the ‘Super Power’ status.
He said, “Africa must be innovative, shrewd and resourceful to know where and how to jumpstart technology, not by re-inventing the wheel but by being only a step behind the cutting edge of science and technology and by being part of the creation of relevant technology for our needs, development and progress. Africa must not be detached from the world of science, technology and innovation led by China.”