Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) on Friday bagged Chinese awards of excellence.
This was announced by Dr Eric Ni, Chairman, Chinese Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Association during the Chinese 2022 Mid-Autumn Festival and National day.
Ni said former President Obasanjo was given an award of excellence for his selfless sacrifices in promoting businesses between Nigeria and China.
He said Obasanjo’s efforts in creating a conducive business environment for the Chinese community was highly appreciated.
Ni also said that Runsewe was given a commitment award for his selfless commitment to the promotion of arts and culture between Nigeria and China.
According to Ni, the Chinese community has enjoyed seamless cultural exchange programmes due to the support enjoyed from NCAC and Runsewe.
Chief Ikechukwu Ikoh, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, also got an award of honour for his selfless commitment in the promotion of businesses in science, technology and innovation between Nigeria and China.
Brig.-Gen. Musa Sadiq, Commander, 81 division, Garrison also bagged a commitment award for his selfless commitment in defending and protecting lives and communities within the Nigerian community.
Obasanjo, represented by his wife, Chief Bola Obasanjo, appreciated the award, commending the Chinese community for bringing transformation to the country in diverse fields.
“You brought transformation to the country, the Chinese community has helped our youths in providing employment opportunities, we appreciate you all,” he said.
Runsewe appreciated the gesture extended to him as he assured the Chinese community of more years of seamless collaborations.
He urged the Chinese nationals to further visit Nigeria as tourists and investors.
He said the Chinese community’s assistance was seriously coveted to ensure Nigeria took the rightful position in Africa to improve on local production and technological advancement.
“We want the Chinese community to visit Nigerians more for the purpose of investing and as tourists.
“We want to achieve a situation whereby the strength of China in Asia could be compared to that of Nigeria in Africa.
“I want to specially appreciate the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, for encouraging his people to visit Nigeria and invest; we are known as hospitable, friendly and accommodating individuals,” he said.
Runsewe also commended the Chinese community for impacting Nigerian positively.
He said the China Industrial and Commercial Association must also be commended for their various corporate social responsibility initiatives aimed at giving back to their community in form of grants, scholarships and donations.
He stressed that the NCAC was willing to have a frontline partnership with the association towards expanding the event to Abuja.
According to him, this will promote synergies and grassroot participation in the area of training, capacity building, Infrastructure development, grants and exchanges.
“I must not fail to acknowledge and commend the Chinese community for imputing arts, culture and other artistic expressions as essential components in all your programmes.
“I assure you of the commitment of NCAC to serve as catalyst for consolidating and sustaining China-Nigeria bilateral business, cultural and diplomatic relations for more years to come,” he said.