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Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government and its Japanese counterpart have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote quality infrastructure investment between both countries.
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi signed the MoU on behalf of government with Japan’s State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Tsukasa Akimoto in Abuja.
Amaechi, in a statement, said Japan’s interest to partner Nigeria in infrastructural development is a welcome idea.
According to him, “You have Identified the infrastructure deficit that is huge. We are a developing country, so there will be huge infrastructure deficit, and it offers Japan and Japanese Investors opportunity to come in.”
He explained that the American Investors and the Chinese Investors were coming into the economy and that the country would be glad to see such investors.
He explained that, “There are two types of investment that the Nigerian government encourage, there is one we ask government to government for a concessioning loan.
“Usually the concessioning loan interest rate is about 1.5 per cent so we will be glad if the Japanese government can come in as the Chinese government have come in.
“There is over 3500 kilometre of rail. The Chinese have been able to do about 300 kilometres. Before the end of the year they will do another 1200 kilometres to bring their own contribution to 1500 kilometres which is concessioning loan.”
The minister hinted that, the presidency is currently talking with the Americans, adding that, “They are bringing their investment and they will build 1500 kilometre of rail including two Sea Ports and they will be rapid by the profit they get from the investment, so we still have about 1500 kilometres of rail. We will be glad if we can get concessioning loan from the Japanese government or get Japanese investors.”
Amaechi, also urged the Japanese to invest in other sectors of the economy.
“There are other areas, even though am not in charge, like Power, Housing, Water, Works etc. So, there is huge opportunity for Japanese investors in Nigeria,” he said.
In his response, the Japanese minister who was accompanied by his Ambassador to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, expressed excitement on the partnership between Japan and Nigeria in developing infrastructure.
Akimoto said, “As the State Minister in charge of infrastructure in Japan, I have been impressed that there is still a great deal scope for Japan to co-operate building the infrastructure in your country.”