Federal Governments through the ministry of Youth and Sports Development has sought collaboration with the People’s Republic of China in areas of training, youth exchange programs, scholarships, sports facilities and sports academies.
The Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chinese Ambassador in Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr Zhou Pinjian on Monday in Abuja at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
This was contained In a statement made available to Sportswaka, signed by the Special Assistant on Media Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the Minister thanked the Ambassador for facilitating a three -month training for a Ministry staff in anti- doping and sought collaboration to strengthen youth and sports development in the country.
“We want to solicit the support of the government and good people of China especially the business community in China to take advantage of the very huge population of Nigeria and establish a sports kit production factory in Nigeria.
“We believe that that will go a long way in minimizing the cost of Procurrment of these sports wears and equipment.
“We will also want the Chinese government to establish a Sports academy in Nigeria in areas of comparative advantage like Table Tennis, Gymnastics, Kung Fu, Taekwondo and some other combat sports where the Chinese are good in. If we have a Sports Academy here, we will have children integrated into sports at tender ages.
“We also look forward to an improved youth exchange program to avail youths from both countries the opportunity of having a deeper knowledge of their political, social and cultural backgrounds. “
Dalung also called for a partnership in conflict resolution to promote global integration.
“We are also looking to develop a Memorandum of Understanding in capacity building for youth workers and officials in areas of income generating activities like the ICT”.
In his response, H.E. Ambassador Pinjian reiterated the excellent relations being enjoyed by the two countries.
“We are committed to the China – Nigeria relations especially in the area of youth and sports de. We know that China and Nigeria have a huge youth demography. Every year we provide scholarships and exchange programs for young Nigerians and will improve on that”.
The Ambassador also promised to follow up on establishing a sports academy in Nigeria and partnering in talks to have sports infrastructure in Nigeria.
Earlier, Barrister Dalung had visited the Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria H. E. Mr Abhay Thakur to see how Nigeria and India can work together for the benefit of sports in the country and Nigerian youths.
The Minister noted that India and Nigeria shared a lot in common including culture and sought vocational and technical capacity building programs to empower Nigerian youths.
Ambassador Thakur said he looked forward to business and cultural exchange programs for the youths of the two countries, a program to mark the World Cycling day on June 3 and the World Yoga day on June 21. He also proposed an international friendly match between the countries’ Cricket teams.