Abuja Mr Ken Fujie, Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), says the organisation is collaborating with the Federal Government to produce 400 megawatts of electricity from the Jebba hydropower plant.
He made the announcement on Monday in Abuja at the 2010 conference of JICA Alumni Association of Nigeria.
JICA is the agency that implements Japanese government’s official development assistance to developing countries.
Since its establishment in 1974, JICA has supported human resources and socio-economic developments in developing countries to facilitate their autonomous sustainable development.
Fujie explained that the cooperation was aimed at assisting the Federal Government to provide increased power generation, by overhauling the Jebba plant, to make the country self-sufficient in power supply.
He said at the end of the project, the hydropower plant would produce more than 400 megawatts of electricity to stabilise increased power supply at the national level.
Fujie said JICA had already provided technical assistance for the development of a master plan on solar power, noting that the pilot projects were being implemented in Sokoto, Ondo, Jigawa and Imo States.
“Nigerian and Japanese governments have agreed to construct a solar power plant at the Yar’Adua University, Katsina, which will be the first ever working plant to provide solar power to the national grid,” he added.
Fujie said JICA had also provided N755 million to enhance rural water supply in Katsina and Bauchi States, while N830 million was facilitated for capacity development at the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna.
He said the agency was concentrating on improving the quality of health services as well as reducing infectious diseases and high maternal mortality rates, for which it had provided more than 7.8 million dollars grant since 2002 through the UNICEF.
Fujie said the agency was supporting the Nigerian government in various areas of development, including education, gender issues, rural development and capacity building of Nigerian government officials.
“More than 2,600 Nigerian officials have benefited from JICA’s training programmes so far,” he said.
Mrs Fatima Bamidele, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Resources, who is a beneficiary of one of the training programmes,said that JICA had facilitated increased food production in the country.
She said the agency was able to achieve the goal through its various programmes and projects across the country.
Bamidele said the agency had also constructed a central and four satellite post-harvest processing technology training centres.
The JICA Alumni Association is a non-profit organisation established in 1989 for individuals who had participated in the various training programmes conducted by the agency. (NAN)