Monday, June 20, 2016

Japan seeks deeper cooperation with Nigeria : VP

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has commended the commitment of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for cooperating extensively with the Buhari administration, noting that the voluntary cooperative interest of the agency at this time is quite appropriate.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by JICA on June 16, 2016, Prof. Osinbajo welcome members of the delegation and, on behalf of President, Muhammadu Buhari expressed the sympathy of the Government and people of Nigeria over the March, 2016 earthquake in Japan. Acknowledging JICA’S support to Nigeria since its inception, especially in the power, health, education and agriculture sectors, Prof. Osinbajo stated that the Federal Government is interested in making everything work well in the country.

He told the members of the delegation that as they must have heard in the news, the activities of Boko Haram has birthed about 49, 000 orphans, in the North East area. Continuing, he said taking care of these orphans is paramount in the agenda of the Federal Government.

 According to him, “We’re looking at how we can build schools for these orphans among the Internally Displaced Persons and organize the widows so that; they can be able to take care of the children.” Reiterating the importance attached to existing relations and the need for further assistance to key into Governments policy to diversify the economy and create employment opportunities for Nigerians.

Prof. Osinbajo thanked members of the delegation for the visit, appreciating the wish and willingness of JICA to cooperate further with Nigeria in areas of their capabilities. Earlier during the meeting, the President of the Agency, Professor Shinichi Kitaoka introduced the other members of his delegation, giving a brief introduction and history of the agency.

 The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the agency which implements Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan to developing countries. Continuing, Professor Kitaoka said since its inception in 1974, JICA has supported human resources and socio-economic development in order to facilitate autonomous and sustainable developments of developing countries, provides bilateral aid in form of Technical Cooperation, Japanese ODA loans and Grant Aid.

He said JICA is actively engaged in the power, health, water, education and agriculture sectors. The agency’s President highly commended the focus of the present administration, pledging the unalloyed support of the agency for the people and Government of Nigeria, saying the agency has enjoyed good relationship with Nigeria in the past and wishes to strengthen the relationship.

He stated that, JICA will at its meeting with the United Nations (UN) Security Council discuss peace keeping in Africa presenting Nigeria as a focus, noting that Nigeria is a key country to the development and stability of the continent. Therefore, in his opinion, Nigeria is important, to the activities of JICA, especially in the area of infrastructure and water.

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