The Federal Government of Nigeria has entered an agreement with its Japanese counterpart for the delivery of quality infrastructure investment in the country. Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi signed the agreement, on behalf of the Nigerian government, with Japan’s State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism, Tsukasa Akimoto in Abuja on Tuesday, September 11.
During the signing of the agreement, Amaechi lauded Japan’s interest in partnering with Nigeria to develop its infrastructure. According to him, one of the two types of investment the Nigerian government is encouraging is the government – government concessional loan, usually at the rate of about 1.5 percent.
Amaechi encouraged the Japanese government and Japanese investors to take advantage of this opportunity to invest as the Chinese are expected to deliver a total of 1,500 kilometers of rail from the currently available 3,500 kilometers before the end of the year in a likewise concessional loan agreement.
“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 said.
“Currently, we have American investors and the Chinese investors that are coming into the economy. For us in Nigeria, we will be glad to see more investors,” he added.
In his remarks, Akimoto expressed delight at the opportunity for Japan to be a part of building the much-needed infrastructure in the country.
“As you all are aware, Japan is putting in a great deal of emphasis on providing high-quality infrastructure and in that respect we are known in comparison to other countries such as China, Korea, and European countries, if you look at the country cycle of infrastructure developed by the Japanese, ours is the most cost-effective,” he said.
“…in the past, there has been much discussion of Japan’s cooperation with Nigeria in providing the other railway and development plan in Lagos Island and we hope there will be more opportunities in the future for Japan to provide technical expertise and capacity building also to providing high-quality infrastructure here in Nigeria,” he added.
This is coming at the right time considering in July, the African Development Bank projected Nigeria’s infrastructural financing needs to reach $3 trillion in 26 years. Nigeria needs to rally support to build roads, airports, dams, ports, railways and telecommunication networks.