Ensuring detailed entrenchment of Nigerian culture and indigenous languages in Chinese Universities and communities, mutual respect for citizens’ rights and dignity as well as promotion of scholarships beyond language and culture, formed the core of advocacies at the 2022 symposium of the Confucius Institute, University of Lagos.
The symposium which held on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, was to mark Nigeria’s Independence and China’s National Day for the year.
In her remarks to declare the symposium open, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa applauded both the Nigerian Director of the Confucius Institute, Professor Chimdi Maduagwu and his Chinese counterpart, Professor Zhao Hongling for their astuteness especially in promoting and expanding the community of Chinese speakers in Nigeria.
While reiterating the University’s commitment to leverage every available opportunity for the expansion of Nigeria-China relations, Prof. Atsenuwa solicited a further exploration beyond language and culture into grooming expertise and intellect in other disciplines.
In their separate remarks, Professors Chimdi Maduagwu and Zhao Hongling gave a recap of the many benefits of the Nigeria-China relations since 1972 when it began.
The duo assured that the Confucius Institute, University of Lagos, will remain a bridge between Nigerian and Chinese universities.
Prof. Hongling placed on record, China’s steady transformation especially in the last 40 years, its technological revolution, and its current stake as the world’s second-largest economy. He also reiterated China’s mission, through its Confucius Institutes, to transform the world into a human community of common destiny where there is no war, no hunger, no crime, and no corruption.
Speakers at the symposium which had the theme, “Reimaging the Future”, included; Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services and first Director of the Confucius Institute (UNILAG), Professor Duro Oni; Director, Institute of Nigeria-China Development Studies, Prof. Olufemi Saibu;, Prof, Douglas Anele of the Department of Philosophy, former Vice-Chancellor, Christopher University, Lagos, Prof. Friday Ndubuisi among others.
They all spoke glowingly about the Nigeria-China relationship, how it has blossomed over the decades and the lessons which Nigeria could draw from China.
There were also remarks from Chinese nationals who are business owners in Nigeria, they all attested to the suitable business climate, astute and dexterous workforce as well as the huge market which Nigeria offers Chinese industries, values they adjudged mutually beneficial to both countries.
The formal proclamation for the establishment of the People’s Republic of China was made on October 1, 1949. This predates Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960 which makes China’s independence 11 years older.