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My favourite song is Psquare’s Chop My Money — Haiyang
My favourite song is Psquare’s Chop My Money — Haiyang
Chinese expatriate, Pan Haiyang, who has spent eight years in Nigeria speaks with BAYO AKINLOYE of the punch newspaper about his life, job and the things he loves about the country
Which country are you from?
I am from the People’s Republic of China.
For how long have you stayed in Nigeria?
By the end of this year, I would have lived in Nigeria for eight years.
What do you like about Abuja where you live right now?
Everybody likes the city Abuja. Abuja –being the nation’s Federal Capital Territory – is the seat of power of Nigerian government. It is quiet, organised, and the city has a good weather.
Apart from Abuja, have you been to other places in Nigeria?
Yes, I have.
Can you name some?
I have been to places like Lagos, Kano, Asaba (Delta State), Calabar (Cross River State), Ibadan (Oyo State) and Benin City (Edo State).
What Nigerian food and drink do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy eating suya and pepper soup. Then, I love drinking Chapman.
Do you have a Nigerian nickname?
I do not have a Nigerian nickname yet. Maybe you can choose one for me.
How do you relax ?
When I am not busy and I do have time to relax, I usually go to the gym. During the weekends, I enjoy playing football.
Have you read any Nigerian book or is there one you are currently reading?
I have read the book, Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe.
Before you came to Nigeria, what did you hear about the country?
People said it has one of the best football teams in the world.
But what is your view about the country having lived here for almost eight years?
Nigeria has always been the giant of Africa. I believe all the difficulties that the country is currently facing are temporary; and we will find the way of out them together.
What surprised you most when you came to Nigeria?
There are no elephants and lions.
Do you speak any Nigerian language?
At the moment, I do not speak any Nigerian language. I have not made up my mind on which Nigeria language to learn.
Will you encourage your countrymen to live in Nigeria?
I will certainly; why not? There are plenty of opportunities in the country. There are also many friendly people here.
Do you have a favourite Nigerian song or artiste?
My favourite song is, ‘Chop My Money’ (by Psquare).
What was the first food you ate when you got into the country?
It was chicken.
Will you love to live in Nigeria for long?
After the first eight years, yes; I think I would be here for much longer time.
If you are to adopt a place in Nigeria where will it be and why?
It will be Abuja. I like the city.
Do you have any Nigerian dress?
Yes; I have a kaftan.
Which organisation do you work for?
I work for Huawei Technologies Nigeria.
What does your organisation do?
Huawei is the world’s leading information and communication technology solution and service provider. Our company is currently serving one third of the world’s population.
How does your organisation contribute to Nigeria’s development?
We are committed to providing a holistic set of competitive, end-to-end information and communication technology solutions and services for telecommunication carriers, enterprises, and consumers. We help them to achieve success in the digital society we live in.
What is its contribution to youth development in terms of information technology?
Nigeria is the most populous country, in Africa with one of the largest populations of youth in the world – about 20 per cent of young people between the age of 18 and 35. The conviction that youths are the main engine for development of Africa is widely shared. Huawei is playing an active and important role not only in job creation but also in youth education. The education is designed in such a way to provide tailor-made training to young people. In order to assist Nigeria to develop its own information and communication technology skills and infrastructure, Huawei’s Abuja ICT Training Centre has trained more than 12, 000 youths.
How will you compare Nigerian youths with your country’s youths?
Youths from both countries are creative and energetic. I believe with the right resources they can build a better tomorrow.
What do you think of Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria?
The visit of Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, to Nigeria has undoubtedly created much buzz around the country and even the world. Nigeria is a dynamic country that has numerous talents and opportunities. Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria will bring more inspiration and encouragement to young people. In his own words: ‘This trip has really blown me away by the talents of young entrepreneurs and developers in this country, making a difference and a change. It reminds me of when I wanted to start Facebook. I wasn’t starting a company at the time but wanted to build something to see if it would work. And that is what I see people here do, pushing through challenges, building things that you want to see in the world. You are not going to change Nigeria and the whole of Africa but the whole world.’