EU, Japan pledge financial support for Nigeria 

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sought the support of the Asian government in combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and illegal fishing in that region.

The President made the request on Thursday during a bilateral meeting between the Nigerian delegation and Japanese officials led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the margins of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).

The Nigerian leader, who commended Mr Abe for the invitation extended to him to attend the triennial Forum, also thanked the Japanese government for attending the pioneer celebration of June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria.

                                President Buhari (Right) in a handshake with Prime Minister Abe

Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Buhari’s participation at TICAD7 and the country’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
 
Dollar support
Recommending the Buhari administration for taking Nigeria to the Next Level, Mr Abe pledged a $300,000 support for Nigeria’s Defence College as well as 12 million Yen for the country’s public health sector.

He also pledged his country’s support for Nigeria’s Presidency of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, while seeking Nigeria’s support for Japan’s bid to occupy some global positions.

EU Support
Also on Thursday in Yokohama, Nigeria and the European Union signed a €50 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support humanitarian and development efforts in the country’s North East region.

The cooperation agreement which was signed by Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr Neven Mimica, would bring the total EU support to the country to €562 million for 2014-2020.

President Buhari, who thanked the EU member states for their support especially for the North East, described as “pathetic the situation in internally displaced camps.”

He called for further assistance to improve youth education in the region to take them out of poverty.

Mimica said Nigeria’s request for enhanced assistance would be given priority consideration since it had come at the time that the EU was in the process of preparing its seven-year budget.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere