Nigeria’s Vice President, Namadi Sambo, yesterday, informed a high level trade delegation from Japan that Nigeria has over 85 million *hectares of uncultivated arable land for agricultural development.
The Vice President gave this figure while receiving the delegation led by the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Ambassador Godwin Agbo, in his office at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Sambo also said that the Jonathan administration was not only seeing agriculture as a programme, but as a business that would create jobs for the teeming unemployed.
He said, “We have over 85 million hectares of land that is yet to be harnessed. We have placed great importance in the area of agricultural development, which we intend to develop as a business. Previously in this country, agriculture was considered as government programme, but now agriculture is considered a business.”
The Vice President urged the Japanese delegation to invest in the huge potentials that abound in the agricultural sector even as he enumerated several areas of opportunities for Japanese businesses to tap into which included power, transport, oil and gas as well as petrochemicals and finance sectors.
He noted that Nigeria had put in place measures that would safeguard the business concerns of all investors and promised them that there were incentives that would further boost their confidence, when they invest in the country.
Sambo expressed Nigeria’s sympathy over the unfortunate disaster caused by last year’s Tsunami in that country, while also appreciating the confidence that Japan had placed on Nigeria.
He said this confidence had boosted the cordial relations existing between the two countries and thanked the country for the assistance they have been rendering to Nigeria through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Ambassador Godwin Agbo, stated that the trade delegation was in Nigeria to tap into the huge potentials in different sectors of the country’s economy.
He said that the 32 member delegation was drawn from 23 companies, which included, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Marubeni Corporation, Sanyo Foods, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Middle East FZA, and Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd, among several others.
In his remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, said that Japan was ready to partner Nigeria in realising her Transformation Agenda and added that the country saw great opportunities in the Nigerian economy.