- FG, Japan Plan Trade Boost, Poverty Reduction in N’East
The Federal Government in collaboration with the Japanese Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation on Thursday unveiled a programme to promote the growth of entrepreneurship in the North East geopolitical zone of the country.
The programme, which is being funded by Japan with a total sum of $800,000 (about N244m based on the official N305 to a dollar Central Bank of Nigeria’s official rate), would be implemented in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.
It is targeted at building and strengthening trade among youths in the North East region, help secondary education system produce youths who would play a major role in socio-economic development in the region and prepare them for the real world of life and work.
Speaking at the event, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Yutaka Kikuta, noted that the programme was borne out of the need to support government’s effort in addressing the insecurity situation in the troubled North East region.
He said based on statistics, the insecurity situation in the region had displaced more than 1.7 million people in Nigeria as well as in neighbouring countries such as Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
He said the situation had left a significant portion of the population without access to adequate food, water and health services.
He said there was a need to improve the level of humanitarian assistance for the internally displaced persons in the region, noting that this was why the government of Japan decided to assist in that regard.
He said, “The government of Japan has decided to support the project through UNIDO. The programme aims to provide young people in senior secondary schools in North Eastern region of Nigeria with the opportunities to study various trade and entrepreneurship courses.
“Small businesses and other gainful activities will enable them to better manage their lives as well as become productive members of the society, a development that will promote social stability in their communities.
“This will have a long-term positive impact on human security at the local, national and regional levels.”
The Regional Representative, UNIDO, Mr Jean Bakole, said the project would support the growth of the economy through poverty reduction and education.
He said the project was important to support the 2030 agenda as captured in goal five and nine of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He commended the Federal Government for supporting the programme adding that when implemented, it would help boost the social inclusion drive of the government.