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Minister Hails Japan Over Its Assistance to Nigeria’s Development Programs

Photo: Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has commended the Japanese Government for aligning its development assistance programmes with the development needs of Nigeria.

Senator Udoma who made the commendation when members of Japanese Parliament led by Mr. Kiyoshi Ejima, visited him in Abuja, said Japan’s contributions to Nigeria in the areas of Health, Education, Power, Infrastructure and Agriculture through its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme fits into the priority areas of government and very valuable to the overall development agenda of the current administration.

“The assistance has been very helpful because it focuses on our priorities, particularly in agriculture, industrialization, transportation, power and oil and gas which are also the priority areas of focus in Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). So, the assistance you are giving are in our priority areas”, he said.

He told the parliamentarians that Nigeria is a country in a hurry for rapid economic development and therefore cherishes its relationship with, and willing to learn from the experiences of a country like Japan which has done extremely well in its economic development strides.

The Minister explained that there are a number of opportunities for foreign investment in Nigeria and government has introduced a number of policies and initiatives to make doing business in the country easy and convenient for investors.

While acknowledging the contributions of the Japanese government to various aspects of Nigeria’s national life, he assured the parliamentarians that Nigeria appreciates the benefits of such development assistance.  

It was the Minister’s belief that continued collaboration between the two countries can generate mutual benefits for national of both countries.

He recognized the importance of the views and inputs of parliamentarians in shaping government policies and was optimistic that their visit to Nigeria will strengthen economic ties existing between the two countries.

The Minister of State in the Ministry, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, observed that it was the first time parliamentarians from any country would visit Nigeria to monitor the progress of development assistance programmes, a development she said was welcome because it also puts the receiving country on notice that utilization was being monitored.

The leader of the Japanese delegation, Mr. Kiyoshi Ejima, who is a Member of the Japanese Upper House, the House of Councillors, said that Japan attaches great importance to its relations with Nigeria and expressed the support of his home government to assist Nigeria achieve her ambition of becoming one of the largest economies by the year 20: 2020.

Pointing to an earlier visit by a delegation of Japanese businessmen to Nigeria last year, Ejima said it was a further demonstration of the value Japan attaches to its relations with Nigeria.


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