The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says some of the images of the current security challenges being faced by Nigeria do not represent the true nature of Nigerians who are naturally hospitable.
In a meeting with the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Liu Kan, at the Lagos House on Monday, the Governor stated that the challenges would go away, but the warm hospitality, industrious nature and entrepreneurial spirit of the people which had endured for several decades would not go away.
He assured the Government and people of China of the Lagos State government’s support.
“As long as the interest of the people of Lagos and that of Nigeria are taken into the fairest consideration in the process of the discharge of your responsibility, you will enjoy the support of the government.
“I think that every diplomatic relation must be predicated on the self interest on the first basis. What is in it for the people of Lagos and what is in it for the people of Nigeria and also for the people of the Republic of China? We have had partnerships because we believed we have something on both sides for both sides,” he stressed.
Many Horsepower Relationship
Fashola observed that Nigeria could learn commercial diplomacy from China, pointing out that the Chinese government had done very well in spite of the existing difficulty in global legal order about how nations should interfere and interrelate with one another under the United Nations’ Convention and Declaration.
“I think the time for change of some of the rules of engagement between nations and sub- nationals is upon us. I am sure that a legal order will emerge that will formalise what the Peoples Republic of China has probably done in an informal way by doing business at national and sub- national levels simultaneously,” he said.
Governor Fashola wished the people and Government of the People’s Republic of China, a happy new year which the country has just celebrated and represented by the symbol, of horse.
He said: “I expect that China and Nigeria will experience a relationship that has many horsepower and that Lagos will be the beneficiary of that horsepower.
Mr Kan said he had felt very much at home, enjoying the hospitality of the People of Nigeria and Lagos since he arrived in Nigeria a couple of months back.
“I will like to work with the Lagos State Government which is one of the strongest states in Nigeria that has contributed to the socio-economic development of Nigeria by encouraging Chinese investors to come to Lagos,” he said.
The Consul General also said he would work assiduously to develop the friendly relations between China, Nigeria and Lagos.
Other State government officials at the meeting were the Commissioners for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat and Science and Technology, Mr Adebiyi Mabadeje.