By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government and the Japanese government have signed a 1.317 billion Japanese Yen, equivalent to USD 11 million Grant Aid to boost Electricity Supply Facilities in Abuja and Nassarawa State.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, signed on behalf of the Nigerian government, while Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke, Ambassador of Japan, signed for his government in Abuja.
The 1.3 billion Yen Grant is to upgrade two substations in Apo, FCT and Keffi Nasarawa State, aimed at providing stable power supply, decrease transmission loss and improve system reliability and would approximately benefit over 7000 households.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, noted the contributions of the Japanese Government towards the development strides of Nigeria through various sectoral interventions ranging from Health sector to Education, Transport, Water, Agriculture etc, pointing out that the sustained implementation of the projects is expected to pave way for significant access to quality socio-economic growth and subsequently reduce unemployment in the country.
According to the Minister, the Support was in tandem with the aspiration of the current Administration’s Change Agenda and its quest for ensuring the delivery of democracy dividends to the citizenry
Udoma also, urged the Government of Japan not to relent in its effort to give further developmental support to Nigeria especially at this critical time the country is undergoing various reforms and making tough choices to improve her economy. He added that, the Federal Government of Nigeria remains committed to working closely with various stakeholders in the economy to achieve sustainable economic development as well.
On his part, the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke stated that power has been one of the priority areas in Japan’s development cooperation in Nigeria, stating that as early as in 1970s, Japan helped finance strengthening the capacity of Kanji Hydro power station and also partnered with Nigeria to electrify rural areas mainly in the North.
He also added that, creating inclusive society for growth through power sector is one of Japan’s priority target areas at the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in 2013, pointing out that, adequate power supply is one of the determinants of domestic and foreign investments.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engineer Louis Edozien, who represented the Minister of Power at the event, thanked the Japanese government and promised to effective utilization of the facilities for the greater benefit of the communities.