Japan grants Nigeria N1.9bn to develop solar electricity

Japan has given a grant of N1.9bn ($9.8m) for the generation of solar electricity in Nigeria, as part of its infrastructure development assistance.

The Asian country is also considering a $200m request from the Federal Government for power transmission project.

The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, who said this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that the support to Nigeria was part of his nation’s Official Development Assistance, following the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, a summit initiated by Japan in 1993 to revive the interest of the international community in African development.

Shoji also said that Japan was considering a plan for Nigeria’s automobile industry development as well as a centre for industrial human capacity development, stressing that Japanese companies would soon double their presence in the country.

The envoy stated that his country had budgeted an $85m loan for polio eradication and another $4m grant for medical equipment for community health centres in Nigeria.

According to the ambassador, Japan has also earmarked $12.77 as a grant for primary school construction in Oyo State, adding that his country was empowering small-scale farmers by assisting with rice post-harvest and marketing improvement project, aquaculture and shea butter processing facilities.

Shoji said his country planned to contribute to the growth of Africa by spending about $32bn (¥3.2tn), utilising private and public means, including Official Development Assistance worth $14 billion (¥1.4tn), in the next five years.

He explained that Japan also planned to double its rice production in sub-Saharan Africa to 28 million tonnes by 2018 through the continuing efforts of the Coalition for African Rice Development.

Shoji stated that Japan was working to transform farmers from subsistence to commercial ones in 10 African countries, stressing that access to safe water and sanitation would get support.

Asked why Japan had not assisted Nigeria with arms to combat the Boko Haram insurgency, the envoy said his country did not export or import arms, noting that this was the content of its security policy.

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