The Federal Government says it has opened talks with China to have access to COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja while briefing newsmen shortly after a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who was in Nigeria on a working visit.
Onyeama said that China was of immense assistance to Nigeria at the advent of the pandemic which, according to reports, began in Wuhan.
He noted that the donation of protective equipment greatly helped the nation in the fight against COVID-19 during the first wave.
The minister said that at this point when countries were discovering vaccines and China being one of them, Nigeria was engaging the country in the area of access to the vaccine.
“We have received a lot of support from China in the area of personal protective equipment that they were very quick to provide us with,” he said.
“China is also one of those countries that have been able to discover vaccines for COVID-19, so we are also engaging with China to also help with regards to access to vaccines for our people.”
According to Onyeama, the relationship between both countries dated 50 years, adding that both countries have many areas of cooperation to celebrate.
“We also realised that in 2021, we would be celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the Peoples Republic of China,” he said.
Giving insights into some of the deliberations during the closed-door meeting, Onyeama said that he and his counterpart looked at the trade relations between the two countries and areas that could be improved.
“In the area of fostering relations, both countries are now considering having a direct flight from Nigeria to China.
“We want to establish a direct air link with China. We hope that very soon, a Nigerian carrier would be carrying out scheduled flights to China in the not too distant future,” Onyeama said.