The Federal Government, has commended the People’s Republic of China for initiating and implementing cultural exchange programmes with positive and far-reaching impact on the stakeholders of culture in Nigeria.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who expressed delight over the cultural ties between China and Nigeria during a cultural performance by Zhejiang Wu Opera Troupe of China in Abuja, said the performance was another testament to the success of the cultural cooperation between China and Nigeria.
The Director, China Cultural Center, Abuja, Mr Li Xuda, also said the Government of the People’s Republic of China was delighted to see friends of China coming from far away places to participate in the event.
Li disclosed that a four-member delegation from Zhejiang Wu Opera Troupe of China was in the country on a visit and for the purpose of cultural performance.
The opera troupe, Li further disclosed, was established in 1956, revealing that after many years of establishment, the troupe has visited over 40 countries which include the United States, Germany, Brazil and France.
“The footprints covers five continents. From that time till now, the total audience, the number is about 4.5 million. You can see how many audience the troupe has,” Li said.
The event which was organised by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, was part of the activities lined up for the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Mohammed who was represented by the Director, Legal Services, Ministry of Information and Culture, Jacob Ehichioya, added that it was instructive to note that while the bilateral ties between both countries dated back to over five decades, cultural relations were concretised in March, 1990, by the signing of the Agreement on Cultural and Educational Cooperation.
According to Mohammed, the three decades of cultural cooperation had since witnessed several cultural activities and exchanges in the arts, music, dance, exhibition, cultural administration, training and capacity building of cultural officers and recently, the development of cultural industries centers in Nigeria, amongst others.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend the Cultural Office of the Embassy of China for initiating and implementing cultural exchange programmes with positive and far-reaching impact on the stakeholders of the sector in Nigeria.
“It is my hope that our cooperation continues to grow for the benefit of our peoples,” Mohammed said.
The minister further assured the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Dr Zhou Pingjian, that the Ministry of Information and Culture will continue to explore ways and means of expanding the vibrant bilateral cooperation within the framework of the recently signed Protocol on Implementation of Cultural Cooperation and Exchanges between China and Nigeria.
Earlier, Li said the troupe had become one of the most popular art troupes in China and have greater influence in the world.
“I can tell you that five years ago, I worked as the Cultural Attache in the Trinidad and Tobago, a very beautiful island country in the Caribbean sea.
“And at that time, the troupe visited there and they performed. I still remember, in the pitfall around a bigger Savannah. They gave very impressive and an amazing performance. The local people kept them warmly welcome,” Li stated.