Nigeria has authorised Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to start the repayment of $76mpolio eradication facility to Japan.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun made this known in Abuja when she received a delegation of Japanese House of Councillors Parliamentarians on Tuesday.
Mrs Adeosun said that the delegates were in Nigeria to assess the level of usage of Overseas Development Assistance, ODA, extended to Nigeria since 2014.
“The authority to trigger repayment was given to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation following the eradication of polio in the country…The eradication of polio was made possible as a result of the Official ODA facility provided by the Japanese Government valued at $76m in 2014,” she stated.
The minister recalled that the ODA was structured for repayment after four years and that by this development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would start repaying the facility to Japan this year.
Marketing Nigeria to the Japanese delegation, Mrs Adeosun noted that Nigeria was fast growing and evolving from negative areas to positive areas through its determined fight against corruption.
“Because Nigeria is a middle-income country, we will require the expertise of Japanese companies for infrastructure development.
“Nigeria is a good place to invest because it is a rising investment destination…I promise that the government will make life easy for Japanese investors wishing to do business in Nigeria,” the Minister explained.
The leader of the delegation, Mr Kiyoshi Ejima described Nigeria as ‘a powerhouse with rich natural resources’ which Japan tried to strengthen its relationship with.
According to him, “Nigeria has set the target of becoming one of the top 20 economies by the year 2020.”
Mr Ejima assured the minister that Japan would support Nigeria in realising its 2020 target.