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Nigeria, France Sign $475m Agreement On Projects



President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with French President, Emmanuel Macron at the Presidential Villa.

The French president is on a one-day visit to Nigeria. The two countries signed a loan agreement of $475million for road projects in Lagos, Ogun and Kano states.

Both presidents witnessed the signing of a letter of intent for the financing of the urban mobility improvement programme initiated by the Lagos State government.

It was signed by the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) CEO, Remy Rioux, and the minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in the presence of Denys Gauer, the Ambassador of France in Nigeria.

The project consists of the following activities; development of eight priority bus corridors connected to the mass transit network (urban train and high-level service bus) with a total length of 41 kilometres); creation of two multimodal interchange hubs and functional integration of four public transport modes (urban train, high-level bus service, water transport lines and bus lines).

The project which follows the successful urban development of the second Lagos BRT bus project, already funded by AFD, aims at:-contributing to Lagos sustainable urban development through the deployment of a public transport network combining quality service, efficiency, accessibility, reliability, safety, reduction of polluting emissions and socio-economic and financial sustainability; giving 1,500,000 inhabitants access to quality transportation system; limiting road congestion; reducing an emission of 14,900 tons of CO, equivalent annually and thus improving the quality of the air; and creating stable jobs and initiating the professionlisation of the informal operators of transport (the artisanal transport).

Also the Agence Francaise Development CEO, Rey Rioux and Kemi Adeosun, signed a credit facility agreement in order to improve water supply in Kano City.

This concessional loan was awarded by AFD to the federal government of Nigeria to allow Kano State to develop an effective and sustainable water supply service.

The key objectives of the project are: (i) improve access to drinking water and quality of water service in greater Kano; (ii) to improve financial viability of Kano State Water Board by increasing its revenues and (iii) to enhance the governance framework of the water sector.

During their joint press briefing after the signing of the bilateral agreements, President Macron said France will continue to support Nigeria  to fight the menace of Boko Haram.

When asked what plans France have to curb terrorism in Africa and more specifically curb herdsmen and farmers crisis in Nigeria, he said, “Well is just that you have all these several issues correlated and your question is related to this event.

“First of all I think the main plan is an African plan and France is not the one to solve or fix African situations. So what we want to do is that we will intervene and maintain our presence in Africa and Sahel to fight against terrorism especially in Mali and in the region. And we will stay as long as it is requested by our friends especially Mali we discussed yesterday (Monday) about this issue.

“But what is important to me is how the different African governments organised themselves to fight against terrorism and get rid of these people and especially Jihadism,” he said.