Abuja – Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, Japan’s Ambassador to Nigeria, says his country sees a gradual growth in the number of its companies active in Nigeria.
Kusaoke made the remark at a send-off party for 25 Nigerians offered scholarship to study in Japan by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in Abuja on Tuesday.
“I hope this trend continues. It will lead to increased opportunities for Nigerians to work in Japanese companies’’, Kusaoke said.
Kusaoke explained that the scholarship, awarded through African Business Education Initiative (ABEI), an initiative of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was aimed at assisting Nigerian youths.
According to Kusaoke, the programme aims to provide 1,000 African youths the opportunity to study at Japanese universities and learn its businesses.
“The Japanese Government, in this connection, offers the ABEI programme, a five-year plan, providing 1,000 African youths with opportunity to study at Japanese universities.
“The objective of this programme is to groom personnel who can recognise and understand the code of Japanese society.
“It is also to recognise the system of its enterprises to contribute to African development in collaboration with its private sector.
Kusaoke expressed confidence in the participants, saying that they would help to bridge the gap between the two countries after spending some years to experience Japan’s culture.
The ambassador said the diversification of the economy into ICT and agriculture was needed by Nigeria in the face of current economic challenges.
Mr Oladimeji Shogbuyi, Director, International Cooperation, National Planning Commission (NPC), expressed satisfaction with Japan’s assistance to Nigerian youths through ABEI programme.
According to Shogbuyi, the successful candidates will benefit from diverse fields in Master’s degree and Internship Programme in Japan.
He explained that it was part of Japanese Government’s policy of promoting support for the dynamic growth of Africa with stronger Public Private Partnership.
He said the initiative was aimed at strengthening economic relations between Nigeria and Japan through human resource development for industrial growth.
“The internship programme is the fulfillment of the promise made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), held in Japan in 2013.
“This initiative will further strengthen the partnership that exists between the governments of Nigeria and Japan by fostering trade and economic union’’, Shogbuyi said.
Mr Agrigato Gozaimasu, one of the beneficiaries and a spokesman for the participants, expressed gratitude to government of Japan for favouring Nigerian youths in its programme.
Gozaimasu said that Japanese government had been in strong partnership with Nigeria, adding that this had led to the establishment of JICA in the country.
He pledged that they would to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in Japan.
“We are going to Japan with the goals of ABEI written in our heart.
“It is our dream to see Japanese business men and women investing in Nigerian infrastructure. (NAN)