From Aidoghie Paulinus and Racheal Anyaso, Abuja
South Korean government is currently executing projects worth $50 million in Nigeria with no counterpart funding from the Federal Government.
This was disclosed by the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, Noh Kyu-duk. According to him, the gesture is part of his government’s effort to help Nigeria out of recession. The envoy assured that his country would always assist Nigeria the same way the international community once assisted it.
Kyu-duk who spoke during the 2017 Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Alumni Gathering, said the objectives of development cooperation which has made the Korea-Nigeria relationship stronger than ever, cannot be undermined.
He noted that Korean companies were delivering services, building schools and opening centers to help local people while Korean professors and experts were sharing their experience and expertise in order to strengthen the capacity of government officials in fields such as health, education, vocational training and agriculture.
Kyu-duk said: “It is a matter of fact that the projects are focused upon four areas: agriculture, information and communication technology, education and vocational training. “As you know, for the development of Nigeria’s economy, it is very important to diversify your industries. Now, it is too much focused on oil and gas industry.
Speaking in the same vein, KOICA Country Director for Nigeria, Sook Hyun Park, said the money was already being utilised. Park said: “Currently, we are implementing a project in education which we built, a brand new school in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is around $50 million. Also, we are currently implementing the e-governance programme which is $8.5 million since 2013 and recently, we finished our vocational training project and handed it over to Nigeria. “
“Right now, there are 44 students who are graduating from the vocational training center. Also, we are collaborating with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Borno state, to have some moments with the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) in the camps . . . we are executing health project which is about $5 million.”
Speaking earlier, the President of South Korea International Cooperation Association (SKICAN), Barr Fidelis Ugbo, said the gathering was to sensitize and inform government and Nigerians that KOICA and the alumni were in partnership.