To create a better understanding and interaction between Nigerians and Chinese, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Thursday announced its plan to establish a Nigerian Chinese Experience Centre in Lagos State.
Prof. Olufemi Saibu, Director of the Institute of Nigeria-China Development Studies, UNILAG, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Nigeria should also establish a similar centre in China.
According to him, there has been a lot misunderstanding between Nigerians and Chinese due to lack of openness, issues of mindset and language inhibitions.
We are really working at how best to create more understanding between Nigerians and the Chinese. We want to trust the Chinese as much as we want the Chinese to trust us.
The Institute of Nigeria-China Development Studies in UNILAG, therefore, wants to establish a Nigerian-Chinese Experience Centre where Nigerians and the Chinese can interact freely for a better understanding of themselves.
Through this centre, our one-on-one interaction would strongly be enhanced. And we can begin to know ourselves better, rather than have biases for ourselves, he said.
Sabiu advised Nigerians to avail themselves of the opportunities currently being offered by the Confucius Institute in Nigeria to learn to communicate in Chinese Mandarin language.
The professor of Economics also said that it was important for the Chinese to begin to learn to communicate in Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba languages, for easier business and personal interaction with Nigerians.
Just as the Chinese are today coming to teach us their language, Nigeria should also create a centre in China to teach the Chinese to speak Nigerian languages.
This way, the Chinese can learn to speak Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba languages in China, before coming to do business with Nigerians, he said.
The institutes director said that an understanding between the people would also promote the much desired win-win cooperation between China and Nigeria in the years ahead.