In an attempt to tackle the pandemic in no time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said on Tuesday the Federal Government has commenced talks with its Chinese counterpart on the COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerians.
The minister disclosed this to journalists in Abuja at the end of a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who was in Nigeria on a working visit.
Onyeama said China assisted Nigeria greatly at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the donation of protective equipment greatly helped the nation in the fight against pandemic last year.
He said it is important for Nigeria to engage China on access to the vaccines.
The minister said: “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.
“China is also one of those countries that have been able to discover vaccines for COVID-19, so we are also engaging with the country to also help with access to the vaccines for our people.”
Onyeama revealed that the relationship between Nigeria and China 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 added.
On issues discussed at the meeting, Onyeama said the two countries looked at the trade relations 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,” the minister concluded.