What Chinese Experts Came To Do In Nigeria – Interior Minister Reveals

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday revealed the mission and activities so far carried out by 15 Chinese experts who came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19.

Aregbesola while responding to journalists at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 said the experts are in Nigeria on the bill of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to assist in building and equipping isolation centres.

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“Indeed 15 Chinese nationals came into Nigeria on 8th of April. They are here on the bill of the CCECC, a Chinese company doing some works for us in Nigeria in conjunction with some Nigerian companies they agreed to support us in the effort to respond to the pandemic.

“At Idu isolation centre in Abuja, they participated in retrofitting and equipping the isolation centre. They equally worked on the Dome project, that was handled by the NNPC Construction in conjunction with ThisDay.

“So, those are the locations in which they came to work. Both in retrofitting the Iju facility and installing critical essential medical equipment,” the Minister explained.

He added that the Chinese experts came into Nigeria on a 30-day visa issued in Beijing and they are still in the country because there is a restriction on travel occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The whereabouts of the Chinese experts became a thing of concern after the Minister of Health last week Thursday told reporters not to question him over the whereabouts of Chinese medical experts who came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19.

Ehanire, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing said the medical personnel “are not guests of the Federal Government but CCECC, a construction company.”

Chinese Medical Team, Equipment Arrive In Nigeria

Chinese Medical Team Arrives In Nigeria
Photo Credit: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakan


A 15-man medical team from China has arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The team arrived in Nigeria in a chartered Air Peace aircraft on Wednesday afternoon.

They are expected to assist Nigeria in efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehainre was at the airport to receive the medical team.

News that Chinese medical experts were coming into the country had split opinion, but the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Friday explained that they would complement ongoing efforts to tackle the pandemic.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, appealed to medical experts in the country to welcome and accept their help as many other countries had.

“I wish to clarify that all the countries of the world are seeking assistance and are receiving help in the fight against COVID-19 – even the United States is looking for help elsewhere,” Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said.

“The support coming from China is a cooperate social responsibility initiated by CCECC, a company with a total volume of infrastructural contracts in Nigeria worth over N10 billion.”

READ MORE: SGF Explains Role Of Expected Chinese Medical Experts

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More Than A Million Masks Set To Arrive From China – Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Abuja on the confirmed case of coronavirus on February 28, 2020. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.
A file photo of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.



The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says more than one million masks are about to be received into the country from China.

Addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja, he explained that the masks were being sent by a Chinese construction company, CCECC, as parts of its corporate social responsibility efforts to help Nigeria combat the coronavirus pandemic.

CCECC, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is in charge of a number of Nigeria’s major railway construction projects.

The masks are to be accompanied by ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and an 18-man team made up of Chinese medical and technical experts, the Minister said during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Ehanire believes the supplies being brought in by China are “globally scarce” and will “augment government support and build capacity to contain the outbreak.”

A picture taken on March 4, 2020, shows a bottle of alcohol gel hand sanitiser and an FFP2 protective face mask. Olivier MORIN / AFP



The Roles To Play

“Many of you who read the news know that there is a global competition for masks, that certain countries have been accusing each other of capturing each other’s masks,” he said.

“There has also been a global competition for ventilators with some countries donating ventilators to others and also swapping ventilators.

“So . . . it is particularly pacifying that in the face of all of this, we are able to get these supplies here, which even if we had the money, we would not have been able to order.

“In addition, the technical experts will comprise research doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians with public health managers who will share their own knowledge and skills – and their real-life experiences of fighting COVID-19 – with Nigerian experts to strengthen our own management of cases, especially with regard to critical care.

“As we all know, this country (China) has had quite an experience with it,” he added.


The Most Needed PPE

The Minister stressed the usefulness of the equipment being brought in and how the country would benefit from the knowledge of the Chinese experts.

He said, “Now, this initiative will greatly build the capacity of our hard-working and resourceful Nigerian healthcare workers who are at the forefront of fighting the virus.

“But the most needed PPE and masks will also protect our frontline workers and mitigate the spread of this disease.

“We do have a window of opportunity to strengthen our response mechanisms through lessons we learn from any country that has had the experience and can provide a hands-on demonstration of how to deal with the outbreak and give Nigerian clinical workforce the opportunity of sharing global best practices.”

‘Even The US Is Looking For Help’, SGF Explains Role Of Expected Chinese Experts

The SGF, Boss Mustapha, addressing a press conference in Abuja on April 3, 2020.



The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has explained the role of the Chinese health experts expected to arrive in Nigeria.

Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, noted that the experts were expected in the country on the invitation of a Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Addressing a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, he stressed that the development was to complement the efforts of the Nigerian government to curtail the spread of coronavirus just like other nations around the world were doing.

He said, “I wish to clarify that all the countries of the world are seeking assistance and are receiving help in the fight against COVID-19 – even the United States is looking for help elsewhere.

“The support coming from China is a cooperate social responsibility initiated by CCECC, a company with a total volume of infrastructural contracts in Nigeria worth over N10 billion.”


How It Works

The SGF said the gesture by the Chinese company has triggered mixed reactions from Nigerians recently, adding that it was important to address the issue.

He also noted the concerns raised by resident doctors and other medical professionals in the country.

Mustapha, however, clarified that CCECC intended to import a large number of equipment and items in different quantities.

He listed the items to be imported to include 1,300,000 medical masks, over 150,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment, as well as 50 medical ventilators.

The company, he noted, has also proposed and on its own suggested to sponsor public health experts to help strengthen Nigeria’s public health capacity and advise on processes and procedures.

“The professionals that have been invited by CCECC through their apparent company in China to come are public health specialists and medical engineers that will support Nigeria’s capacity in managing the pandemic on an advisory basis … while drawing from the experience of the Chinese,” the SGF explained.

He added, “In no way shall there be case management and interface with patients. They would train our manpower, advise on procedures and methods, install and test the equipment donated before handing them over for our technicians to begin to use them.

“I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to our medical professionals to see the positive aspect of these gestures as an extension of development in the field of medicine.”

Chinese Experts To Help In Notre-Dame Reconstruction

FILE PHOTO: A firefighter uses a hose to douse flames and smoke billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019. PHOTO: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

Chinese experts will participate in the restoration of France’s Notre-Dame cathedral, state media reported on Wednesday, following a meeting between the two countries’ heads of state in Beijing.

The 850-year-old cathedral, which was scarred in April after a fire tore through its roof and toppled its spire, was the most visited historic monument in Europe.

Since the blaze, which took 400 firefighters to control, Chinese and French authorities have been in touch about cooperating on restoration efforts, reported official news agency Xinhua.

“China has a great deal of experience in renovating ancient buildings affected by fire, especially ones made of wood,” said Chai Xiaoming, director of the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, in an interview with state-run China Daily.

“This means we could offer suggestions on how to approach the renovation of the oak-framed roof on Notre Dame Cathedral,” he said.

Citing a document signed by the two countries during President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beijing, Xinhua said Chinese experts will work with French teams in on-site restoration without elaborating.

“China and France will collaborate on the theme and model and select Chinese expert candidates for the cooperative restoration work in 2020,” it said.

The partial destruction of Notre-Dame sparked an outpouring of condolences around the world earlier this year, with Chinese President Xi Jinping calling the cathedral “an outstanding treasure of human civilisation.”

Though its stained glass windows, towers, bells and most artworks and relics survived, reconstruction work to rebuild the 13th-century cathedral will take years.

It is only at the end of 2020 that a complete check will allow architects to work out how to restore the cathedral — and no reconstruction is expected to start before 2021.

In addition to Notre-Dame, the agreement signed on Wednesday will also see France and China collaborate on protecting China’s famous terracotta warriors in Xi’an, northern Shaanxi province, reported Xinhua.