Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has called on the Chinese Government to revisit the cases of Nigerians, especially those from Imo State, serving jail terms in that country.
Okorocha made the call when the Consul-General of China to Nigeria, Mr. Liu Khan, visited him at the Government House, Owerri, on Thursday.
He said reviewing the cases was necessary to ensure that innocent ones were not punished for offences they never committed.
He said many Nigerians, including Imo people, have been languishing in Chinese jails.
He called on the government of China to revisit the cases with a view to releasing the innocent ones.
“I am sure you are aware that many Nigerians are in your prisons in China.
“The reports we get from the Internet and CNN show that there are so many Nigerians today languishing in China jails.
“I am concerned about Nigerians, particularly the people from Imo State.
“I want to have a working relationship with you to revisit the cases of those imprisoned especially those from my state to make sure the innocent ones are not punished for offences they never committed”, he said.
The governor said his administration was determined to transform Imo into the China of Nigeria.
Okorocha announced the approval of a business tour for 100 Imo businessmen and industrialists to China for partnership that would enhance the industrial sector of the state.
“We shall be raising the first 100 businessmen which I will forward through my Liaison Office to your office.
“I will guarantee them to go to China and do business and come back and go again.
“In that case, we begin the gradual technology transfer to our country”, he said.
Okorocha described China as the best partner for the industrialization programme of his administration.
He expressed optimism that Imo would succeed as China had excelled in the industrial sector of the world economy.
He said the state was highly blessed with fertile soil, large gas deposits and other natural resources with hardworking citizens.
Okorocha, however, said the state lacked the technological know-how to harness such resources to optimum.
According to the governor, Imo has the highest gas deposit in Nigeria with vast fertile soil but needs modern technological equipment to improve its agriculture.
He urged Imo people interested in doing business with China to feel free to apply for visas as his office will give necessary assistance to facilitate their trips. (NAN)