The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, on Wednesday said the Chinese doctors that arrived Nigeria cost the Chinese government over $2M.
Zhou Pingjian said this while addressing newsmen at the arrival of the Chinese doctors at the Nigerian Airport.
Zhou said by sending the medics to Nigeria, the Chinese government was reciprocating Nigeria’s gesture to them during the early covi-19 struggles in China.
He noted that so far, it had cost China’s construction company, CCECC, about two million dollars to bring in the experts and the medical equipment.
The ambassador said that he could not understand the rationale behind the attitude of some Nigerians who were against the coming of the experts.
“I am struggling to understand the logic; for us, at the most difficult stage of our fight, we received support from Nigeria, it is time for us to reciprocate the friendship and the kindness.
“This is the first time I met the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, since early February and I appreciate the strong support for us from him and the government.
“For the government and Chinese businesses, what we are trying to do is to address the concerns of our dear friends.
“According to the information the CCECCE gave to me, the value of the equipment and medical supplies is around $1.5 million and including the other costs like the flight it is around $2 million,” he said.
He disclosed that the experts were originally billed to stay for one month but noted that the mandatory quarantine may also determine how long they will stay.
Opposition Party, Nigerian Doctors Protest
Reacting to the coming of the Chinese medical experts, Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charged Nigerians to hold President Muhammadu Buhari responsible should there be any upsurge in the rate of COVID-19 infection and death in the country following the importation of doctors from China, the epicenter of the scourge, by the Federal Government.
The PDP said it was alarmed that President Buhari ignored the protests by Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and allowed the importation of the Chinese doctors despite warnings that bringing in doctors from the hotbed of the plague would expose citizens to further risks.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, Wednesday evening, noted that the Federal Government was importing the Chinese doctors “even as Nigerians across the board have continued to question the status, identity and interest of the Chinese doctors as well as the safety of kits and equipment from China, particularly following scary reports of escalation of the scourge in certain countries reportedly after the arrival of Chinese medical personnel in those countries.”
“Moreover, our doctors and nurses have been on top of the situation with records of recoveries and fewer casualties, thus raising questions about the real intentions of bringing in doctors from China,” The PDP said.