Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded Japanese investors interest in Nigeria’s oil and gas, as well as infrastructure sectors among others.
In a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari welcomed the good news when he held investment talks with top officials of Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and Toyota Group, at the margins of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), holding in Yokohama, Japan.
President Buhari informed the team that Nigeria had introduced the ease of doing business, and as such bureaucratic bottlenecks were being cleared off the way. Led by its Deputy Governor, Mr Nobumitsu Hayashi, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation indicated its interest in supporting projects in which Japanese companies are involved in Nigeria. The bank said it had lots of resources dedicated for that purpose, and would be interested in oil and gas, and investments in infrastructure. At a bilateral meeting with Toyota Tsusho, a part of the Toyota conglomerate, President/CEO of the group, Ichiro Kashitani, indicated interest in sectors like energy, healthcare and automobiles, saying Toyota would be delighted to have presence all over Nigeria.
Kashitani said Toyota Tsusho wishes to also build an advanced medical diagnostics centre, which would foreclose need for foreign travel to obtain cutting edge medical diagnosis. President Buhari urged the group to also consider setting up a car assembly plant, noting that Nigeria had the capacity to absorb the investment for positive returns.
At another meeting with the Prime Minister of Algeria, Noureddine Bedoui, President Buhari counseled that the political programme in the country be faithfully executed, which would lead to general elections as soon as possible.
“Algeria is a good pan-Africanist nation, with a lot of influence over the continent,” the President said. Prime Minister Bedoui said dialogue was in progress with all stakeholders leading to elections, hopefully by end of the year.