Japan awards N1.9bn grant for solar power

01 December 2014, Abuja – The government of Japan, has awarded about  N1.9 billion ($9.8m) grant for solar electricity generation project in Nigeria, as part of its infrastructure development assistance.

The Asian technological giant  is also considering a $200 million request from the Federal Government for power transmission project.

Sunpower solar panelsThe 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 is considering a Master 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 a $85 million loan for polio eradication and another $4 million grant for medical equipment for community health centres in Nigeria.

According to the ambassador, Japan has also earmarked a $12.77 grant for primary school construction in Oyo State, adding that his country is empowering small scale farming 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 $32 billion (¥3.2 trillion), utilizing private and public means, including Official Development Assistance worth $14 billion (¥1.4 trillion), in the next five years.

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

Shoji stated that Japan is also working to transform farmers from subsistence to commercial agriculture in 10 African countries, stressing that access to safe water and sanitation is also getting support.

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

He said, “Japan has a policy of not exporting or importing arms to other countries, particularly weapons destined to be used for aggression purpose and we have maintained our track record as a peace-loving nation for the past seven decades, but we have built counter-terrorism and counter-piracy capacity of 2000 people and also provided equipment for counter-terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel region.”

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