Nigeria and France on Tuesday signed an agreement for the implementation of different projects valued at $475 million in Lagos, Kano and Ogun States.
The signing which was done on behalf of both countries by their Ministers of Finance was witnessed by President Muhammadu Buhari and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron in the State House.
This is as Presidents Buhari and Macron held bilateral talks at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja during which agreements for French assistance totalling $475 million for some projects in the three states` were signed. The Lagos deal is a letter of intent for the financing of urban mobility improvement project via a loan of $200 million. This will involve development of eight priority bus corridors connected to the Lagos mass transit network.
In Ogun State, a French firm in conjunction with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority is to mobilise from investors about $200 million for land reclamation to correct the massive degradation of arable land being witnessed in the state. The project aims to reforest 108,000 hectares of depleting forest in Ogun, which the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, hailed 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.
Through its foreign development agency, Whence Francaise de Development (AFD), France will also extend a credit facility of $75 million 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.