President Umaru Yar’Adua said Saturday in Shanghai, China, that the Government would soon embark on the development of metro lines for some major cities and welcomes Chinese technical assistance for the projects.
Speaking at the Shanghai Shentong Metro Company on the last day of his state visit to China, Nigerian President Yar’Adua said his administration was currently exploring options for financing the project.
In a statement made available to panapress Saturday, the Special Adviser to the President on Communication, Olusegun Adeniyi, quoted Ya’Adua as saying “We will b e seeking your technical inputs very soon and I hope you will offer us the assistance because we need to develop metro lines for some of our major cities like Lagos and Abuja to bridge the transportation gap.
“The main challenge is finance but once we have sorted that out, we will be getting back to you for technical assistance,” the President told senior executives of the company.
The Shanghai Shentong Metro Company operates the Shanghai Metro which is one of the world’s newest and most rapidly expanding subway system with an average of 2.18 million passengers daily in 2007.
At the coal-powered Waigaoqiao Power Plant which he also toured, President Yar’A dua said that the visit had further “emboldened” him in his determination to exploit Nigeria’s vast coal deposits for the amelioration of the country’s current p r oblems with power generation.
“I am happy that some Chinese companies are ready to partner with us along this line. Our goal is to build a power plant like this as we look at all sources of power to meet our energy needs and reposition our economy,” he said.
The President invited the Zong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company (ZTE) to invest in the production of mobile phone handsets in Nigeria, assuring its Chief Executive, who accepted the invitation, that “the market is huge and will extend to the entire West African sub-region”.
At one other stop before leaving for home, President Yar’Adua urged the Chinese company which participated in the launching of Nigeria’s Nigcomsat to present proposals for the commercial exploitation of the satellite.
“I invite your company to have a stake in the project so that you can be involved in the maintenance as we take full commercial advantage of the benefits derivable from it,” he said.
The company accepted the offer.