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Nigerian university sets up institute to promote China-Nigeria relations

  ABUJA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- A Nigerian university has set up a world-class comprehensive resource center for Chinese investors in Nigeria and Nigerian businessmen and others desiring to collaborate, cooperate or work with one another.

  The Institute of Nigeria-China Development Studies, a brainchild of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), one of Nigeria's foremost colleges, was inaugurated late Tuesday in the former Nigerian capital city of Lagos.

  The university's vice-chancellor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe told reporters Wednesday that the institute, also expected to promote educational and cultural exchanges between China and Nigeria, was among various "innovations designed to enable the university to brace up to current trends in global affairs."

  "It is part of our effort to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and China, by creating a conducive environment for exchanges in order to strengthen cooperation at all levels. The institute is an academic concern that would interact extensively with the larger society," Ogundipe said.

  Among other goals, the new institute is expected to create multiple avenues for the study of Chinese civilization, side-by-side Nigerian civilization, for Chinese and Nigerians to interact with a view to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each, so as to provide a platform for mutual growth, he said.

  UNILAG, founded in 1962, is home to one of the two Confucious institutes in Nigeria. It partnered with the Confucious Institute at the university and the Chinese Investors Association for Development and Promotion to set up the new institute.

  As part of its objectives, the institute would embark on elaborate research in major operational fields such as natural, applied and human sciences, according to the official News Agency of Nigeria.

  Liu Changan, president of the Chinese Investors Association for Development and Promotion, described the inauguration as a milestone achievement, saying it was an avenue to further promote socio-cultural ties between China and Nigeria.

  He added that it would strengthen traditional friendship between the peoples of the two countries, and serve as a platform for mutual learning and win-win cooperation between China and Nigeria.