Vice President Namadi Sambo has implored Japan to invest heavily in Nigeria due to the potentials inherent in the country’s progressive economic growth and development.
He was speaking during a bilateral meeting held between himself and the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe at the Intercontinental Hotel, venue of TICAD V meeting in Yokohama, Japan. After thanking the Prime Minister for the warm hospitality extended to him and members of his entourage, the Vice President noted the giant strides of TICAD in the last twenty years.
He recalled that Nigeria and Japan were old allies and needed Japan to support Nigeria’s infrastructural requirements in the areas of power supply, transportation, health, agriculture and information and communication technology (ICT). Arc. Sambo further called for both countries to encourage partnership on PPP arrangement.
He used the occasion to inform the Prime Minister that in order to further consolidate on our excellent bilateral relations; President Goodluck Jonathan wishes to pay a visit to Japan sometime this year.
While condoling the government and good people of Japan for the sad incidence that affected some Japanese citizens in Algeria, the VP used the opportunity to brief the Prime Minister on the efforts by the Nigerian Government to address the security challenges facing Nigeria and the efforts of Government in ensuring the return to normalcy in the three states under the emergency rule.
He seized the opportunity to explain to the Prime Minister the progress the country is making in the areas of power supply, transportation, BRASS-LNG and the need for Japan to assist our local gas infrastructure.
Vice President Sambo assured the Prime Minister of Nigeria’s readiness to support Japan’s bid to hosts the summer Olympics and to win its slot for non permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.
While commenting on the issues raised by the Vice President, Prime Minister Abe stated that to achieve the level of development, Nigeria and Japan will have to work together especially as regards TICAD V initiative. He noted that a number of Japanese businesses have made progress in Nigeria and that he looks forward to more investment in the Nigerian economy.
He further stated that Japan supports Nigeria’s growth and economic development and the need to eradicate polio. As part of Japan’s efforts to ensure this steady growth, the Yen soft loan will be used to build elementary schools as part of the projects of inclusive growth. He stated that Japan attaches importance to private investment and that Nigeria had high hopes for support by the Japanese Government. “We will like to provide support for infrastructural development of your country as articulated by you.”
He sought for Nigeria’s support in their bid to host 2020 Summer Olympic Games and for a non permanent member slot at the Security Council of the United Nations.
In a related development, the Vice President held the meetings with some private concerns in Japan, they include Mizuho Corporate Bank Limited who are desirous to come to Nigeria and provide opportunities for the growth of the real sector. They were led by the Company’s Deputy President, Nobuhide Hayashi.
Others include Sojitz Corporation who discussed on BRASS-LNG. They were led by Mr. Masahiro Komiyama, Managing Executive Officer & President, Energy & Metal Division, Toyota Tsusho Corporation in collaboration with CFAO discussed on agricultural investment which includes large scale store formats and BRASS-LNG development. They were led by Mr. Jun Karube, President and CEO. He also held meeting with Nippon Foundation led by Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, who briefed the VP on Sasakawa Africa Foundation Projects in Nigeria including the recently concluded MOU with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and finally with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) led by Mr. Akihiko Tanaka, President.
They showed serious interest to participate in the Nigerian Transformation Agenda through investments and they sought for the VP’s support and cooperation.
JICA, however, planned for a sovereign participation in the rehabilitation of Jebba Hydropower plant but with the concession of the power plant which put its ownership in new hands as espoused by the VP on the need for them to participate in the PPP arrangement, they promised to go and re-evaluate their plans to accommodate the new thinking.