Nigeria, France sign $475m agreements - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Nigeria, France sign $475m agreements

Nigeria, France sign $475m agreements

Nigeria and France on Tuesday signed three agreements worth 475 million dollars on social amenities and reforestation.

NAN reports that the agreements cover Urban Mobility Improvement
Programme of Lagos State, sustainable water supply in Kano city and
reforestation in Ogun.

President Muhammadu Buhari and the visiting French President Emmanuel
Macron witnessed the signing of the agreements during their bilateral
talks held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Lagos agreement involved a letter of intent for the financing of
urban mobility improvement project through a loan of 200 million

The urban mobility project will involve development of eight priority bus corridors connected to the Lagos mass transit network.

In Ogun, a French firm in conjunction with the Nigeria Sovereign
Investment Authority is to mobilise from investors about 200 million
dollars for land reclamation to correct the massive degradation of
arable land being witnessed in the state.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who spoke to State House correspondents on
the signed agreement, said the project aimed to reforest 108,000
hectares of depleting forest in Ogun.

Amosun, therefore, hailed the signing of the agreement, describing it
as very vital to not only addressing climate change challenges and
recreating the forest, but also providing employment to the people of
the state, among other benefits.

France, through its foreign development agency, Whence Francaise de
Development (AFD), will also extend a credit facility of 75 million
dollars towards improving water supply in Kano city.

The concessional loan is expected to help Kano State Government
ensure more residents of the city have access to drinking water while
improving the financial viability of the state water board to increase
its revenues.

Addressing newsmen after the signing of the agreements, Buhari and
Macron, who addressed a joint press conference at the forecourt of the
presidential villa, expressed the readiness of their countries to
continue to promote socio-economic interests for the general good of
both countries.

The two presidents pledged to increase the cooperation between
Nigeria and France in tackling security challenges occasioned by Boko
Haram and ISIS jihadists in Nigeria and the Sahel region of Africa.

Macron said he was more concerned about how African governments
organised themselves to effectively tackle the challenges posed by
terrorists on the continent.

He said: “The main plan is an African plan and France is not the one to solve or fix African situations.

“So what we want to do is that we will intervene and maintain our
presence in Africa and Sahel to fight against terrorism, especially in
Mali and in the region.

“What is important to me is how the different African governments
organise themselves to fight against terrorism and get rid of these
people and especially, jihadism. That is why I do promote the G5/Sahel

“As far as we are organised, Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon is
also very important, it is Boko Haram. I think first we have to increase
the operations and the pressure against these jihadists.

“We can fix the situation in the coming months and obviously France will remain present in Africa for as long as they want it.’’

On his part, Buhari thanked French government for its support and
assistance to Nigeria’s efforts in combating insurgency and violent
extremism in the country and the Sahel region.

He said already Nigeria had cultivated the culture of friendship with
all its neighbours with a view to ensuring security and political
stability in the region.
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