French President François Hollande Monday disclosed that his government has concluded arrangements to invest a total of €130 million in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria for rebuilding of roads, provision of electricity and water supply.
According to him, despite the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market which has affected Nigerian expected revenue, the country’s economy still remained strong.
“The Nigerian economy remains strong so, France wants to be doing business in the country” he said at a joint press conference at the Elsee Palace in Paris, after a closed door bilateral meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a three-day working visit to France.
He said France intends to increase the visibility of its investors more in Nigeria adding that his country will assist the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) with intelligence gathering and equipment in fighting terrorism in Nigeria and the African sub region.
“We provide all of the support to the countries in the region which are affected by this cult and in Nigeria, we want to provide support and solidarity,” he noted thanking the President for relocating the
military command center to Maiduguri.
In his remarks, President Buhari thanked the French government for his government’s interest in assisting Nigeria and expressed the readiness of his administration to partner with France to development of the country.
President Buhari noted that with commitment from France, Nigeria’s next shopping list regarding support will move to other members of the G7.
“We have to depend on France and the other G7 countries for support to fight piracy” the President said adding “Our next shopping list is going to G7in terms of intelligence and training. Another problem is the problem in the Gulf of Guinea, from Senegal to Angola, that area is endowed with resources like petroleum and other minerals but surrounded by piracy and theft.
“We are going to depend on France and G7 countries to flush these criminals out of the region.” Adding that they had discussed the Memorandum of Understanding to build a €30M project solar power plant in a rural local government of Osun State capacity of the solar power plant is 10 to 14 megawatts.
Speaking further President Buhari said that “On Nigeria’s problems, more than 67 percent of our youths and most of them under their youthful age are unemployed. We are finding best way in Agriculture and mining to address this before sophisticated infrastructure and security are provided.
President Buhari and Hollande also discussed on issued of climate change which Nigeria is expected to contribute to at a global level. Both Nigeria and France last year signed last year bilateral agreements which enables the Frech government provide 1.170 Million dollars soft loan through the french development agency AFD for the construction of high voltage power lines and substations that will connect Abuja with electrical distribution network.