A grant aid project on economic and social development worth N642million was signed between Nigeria and Japan on Tuesday. The amount would be provided by the Government of Japan.The Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma signed for the Nigerian government while Japan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, signed on behalf of his home country.
According to a statement from the Budget Ministry said grants from the agreement will be channeled towards:
- Enhancing competitiveness and support the Nigeria’s poverty reduction efforts.
- It is also meant to improve standard of living and ensure environmental sustainability, which is in line with the development priorities encapsulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) (2017–2020) of the Buhari administration.
- Also Japanese Government is providing $1.75million for necessary equipment to the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The equipment will be products of Japan’s highly-specialised small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
While signing the agreement, Senator Udoma expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to Japan, for its numerous interventions in various sectors of the country’s economy in support of its development aspirations; and particularly for aligning its intervention programmes with the ERGP.
Udoma also recalled last year’s signing of an Exchange of Note (E/N) with Japan on emergency improvement of electricity supply facilities in Abuja, and commended its role in the development of the National Power Development Master Plan, designed to guide government on the optimal energy mix and efficiency for the country.
“The Economic and Social Development programme for which we are here gathered this morning, is also one of such interventions in the sum of Y200,000,000.00 (approximately N642,204,315.79)”
While responding, the Japanese Ambassador promised that his country will continue to explore development options, strategies and paradigms that will engender more mutually beneficial collaborations in support of our long-term friendship between the two countries. He also added that his home country’s government has been extending grant aids to Nigeria in different fields over the years, it considers the ones for health and agriculture particularly important, because advanced pharmaceutical research and improved agricultural production have direct, positive impact on the quality of life and on inclusiveness of growth.
“Japan is working together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the efficient post-harvest processing of rice crop and improvement of its quality. I believe this processing method, when adopted widely in this country, could have a huge multiple impacts on job-creation and food security as well as the country’s external balance,” Ambassador Kusaoke was quoted.
Reported by Fikayo Owoeye