President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ayodele Fayose are both in China, The President is currently on a state visit to the People’s Republic of China. President Buhari and his Chinese counterpart agreed on economic and technological collaborations including agriculture, joint Nigeria/China rail, power, manufacturing and solid mineral projects. China also expressed an interest in setting up major projects in Nigeria such as refineries, power plants, mining companies, textile manufacturing and food processing industries as soon as the enabling environment is provided by the Federal Government. In response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, President Jinping offered 15 million U.S. dollars agricultural assistance to Nigeria for the establishment of 50 Agricultural Demonstration Farms across the country.
As these deals were signed, Governor Ayodele Fayose jetted off to China too. Reports has it that he too is seeking a separate agricultural deal with Chinese firms so as to boost agriculture and improve technological expertise of artisans in Ekiti State.
The 119th China Import and Export Fair otherwise known as the Canton Fair between April 14 and 19 curiously falls on the same date the President is in China. A special assistant to Governor Fayose on media stated that the Governor’s trip was planned six months ago. According to him, “The Governor will hold talks with prospective investors in mechanized farming, experts in skill acquisition, particularly training in the area of perfect finishing in building construction as well as experts in auto-repairs modern technologies.
“Governor Fayose will also take advantage of the Canton Fair to hold talks with technical experts on training and technological exchange programs for artisans in the State as part of his plan to get technical support for the proposed Artisans Village to be built in Ado-Ekiti, the State capital. The governor will only be seeking for partnership with prospective Chinese Investors and technical experts without committing the State to any loan.”
Governor Fayose has embarked on a strategy of diversifying Ekiti State’s economy. He has scheduled an Agricultural Summit in May, as part of his government’s determinations to revive agriculture and make it the mainstay of the economy of the State. But one wonders whether his visit was a mere coincidence or if something is the offing.