HAPPENING NOW: Japan pledges token $413,000 aid for Nigeria

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Japan has been rewarded with a token aid of $413,000 as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced some support for Nigeria’s Defence College and the public health sector.

Abe made the aid package known on Thursday at a meeting in Yokohama with President Buhari, on the sideline of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).

Mr Abe pledged a $300,000 support for Nigeria’s Defence College as well as 12 million Yen(about $113,000) for the country’s public health sector.

This is however exclusive of the aid package Nigeria stands to reap under TICAD7.

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

At the bilateral meeting, Buhari sought the support of the Asian government in combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as well as illegal fishing in that region.

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.

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 €562million 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 also called for further assistance to improve youth education in the region to take them out of poverty.

Commissioner 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.

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