… Awards scholarship to Nigerians
From Aidoghie Paulinus and Peter Emeraghi, Abuja
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Nigeria Office Chief Representative, Nakamura Hirotaka, has said that Nigeria is presently struggling to meet its aspects of the cooperation with Japan.
Nakamura made the disclosure during the send-forth for participants for the African Business Education (ABE) Initiative for Youth programme who traveling to Japan on scholarships under the Japanese Government Official Development Assistance, for master degree and internship.
Nakamura listed agriculture, transport, power, health and water as areas of cooperation between the two countries
He said: “Now, I think all the Nigerian counterparts, the governments, are struggling in the budget. But I see that they are trying to do their best even with very, very limited resources. They are trying to do their best and I can see that they are trustworthy.”
Nakamura also said for the year 2016, JICA expended over $40 million in the different sectors of cooperation. Both countries, he said, were presently focusing more on health, agriculture and power, saying the issue of water for rural areas is not presently on its agenda.
Nakamura did not however state how much the projects would gulp, saying he had no figures to that effect. He advised the seven Nigerians going on studies to Japan to utilise their stay by learning about the uniqueness of the country. Nakamura stated: “I want them to lean why Japan is a very unique country. I really would want them to learn why Japan is so unique and what part is so unique about Japan.
“Not only, for example, in engineering or manufacturing, but to learn the culture. I think that is the best way for our future.” Speaking earlier, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, said the programme was unique as it is not only centered on academics, but coupled with business practice, business internship with Japanese companies.
“I hope that when they finish their courses in Japan, maybe, they are able to find opportunities to work for Japanese companies and maybe, help Japanese companies to come into Nigeria,” Kusaoke said. On how Japan arrived at its technological advancement, the Japanese envoy said it was collaboration between the Japanese companies and academic institutes in Japan.
He expressed hope that the seven Nigerians travelling to Japan would experience the close interaction between Japanese companies and the institutions. Kusaoke added that Nigeria could learn from Japan’s technological advancement and the cooperation between Japanese companies and the Japanese institutions.
Responding on behalf of the Nigerian Government, Mr Simon Ileuma of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning said the partnership was excellent, adding that the partnership had existed for decades in very key areas.
Ileuma also said numerous Nigerians have travelled to Japan for capacity building, returned and replicated it in the country. The partnership, he added, entailed socio-economic development, even as he said the Nigerian role was only bilateral, with no financial commitment.