President Muhammadu Buhari today in Yokohama, Japan, called for the support of the Asian government in combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as well as illegal fishing in that region.
Buhari made this request at a bilateral meeting between the Nigerian delegation and Japanese officials led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the margins of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari praised Mr. Abe for inviting him to attend the triennial forum while thanking the Japanese government for attending the pioneer celebration of June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria.
On his part, Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Buhari’s participation at TICAD7 and also the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by the country.
Commending Buhari administration for taking Nigeria to the Next Level, Mr Abe pledged a $300,000 support for Nigeria’s Defence College as well as 12 million Yen for the country’s public health sector.
He also pledged his country’s support for Nigeria’s Presidency of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, while seeking Nigeria’s support for Japan’s bid to occupy some global positions.
In a related development, Nigeria and the European Union also signed a €50 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Yokohama 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.