Nigeria has authorised Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to start the repayment of $76 million polio eradication loan to Japan.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday when she received a delegation of Japanese House of Councillors Parliamentarians. She said that the delegates were in Nigeria to assess the level of usage of Overseas Development Assistance (ODAs) extended to Nigeria since 2014. She added that the authority to trigger repayment was given to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation following the eradication of polio in the country. She noted that the eradication of polio was made possible as a result of the ODA facility provided by the Japanese Government valued at $76 million in 2014. She recalled that the ODA was structured for repayment after four years and that by this development, Bill and Mellinda Gates Foundation would start repaying the facility to Japan this year. Adeosun while marketing Nigeria to the Japanese delegation noted that Nigeria was fast growing and evolving from negative areas to positive areas through its determined fight against corruption. She added that “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.” In his address, the leader of the delegation, Mr Kiyoshi Ejima, described Nigeria as a power house with rich natural resources with which Japan tried to strengthen relationship with. Nigeria, he said, had set the target of becoming one of the top 20 economies by the year 2020 and he assured that “Japan will support Nigeria toward realising its 2020 target.”