Insurgency: Japan spends $63.3m on humanitarian assistance to Nigeria’s north-east

Yutaka Kikuta, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria says the Japanese Government has spent 63.3 million dollars in the North-East on humanitarian assistance in the last five years.

Mr Kikuta disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Gombe during a courtesy visit to Charles Iliya, Deputy Governor of Gombe State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Japanese High Commissioner was in Gombe on an inspection tour of the Japan-sponsored skill acquisition programmes in secondary schools.

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The schools include: Government Science School Billiri and Government Girls Secondary School Doma.

The ambassador represented by his deputy, Shigeru Umetsu said the support from Japan to the region was necessitated by the effects of Boko Haram insurgency.

“The Japanese Government has supported the North East region with 63.3 million dollars for humanitarian assistance. This is important because of the security concern of the region.

“We have been using other international organisations to execute programmes but the Japanese Government now wants to connect the people of the North East to Japan.

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“Because of the security concerns in the past, we have not been able to visit.

“But since there is improvement, we are now committed to executing new and strengthening existing projects, in the region,” he said.

He emphasised that he was satisfied with the efforts of the government in the area of security, adding that he had spent over one year in the region.

Mr Kikuta also said that he was in Gombe to monitor some Japanese projects in secondary schools aimed at building the capacities of youths, through entrepreneur to make them self-employed.

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“With our partnership with the state government and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, we started the programme three months ago.

“So we are here to monitor the programme and see how to give some advice, so that the programme will be implemented successfully.

“The skills that the students are expected to get are basically on trade and entrepreneurship to equip them start up their businesses.

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On his part, the deputy governor promised that government would give all necessary supports to ensure the successful implementation of the programme in the state.

Mohammed Wade, the State Commissioner of Higher Education expressed confidence that the programme would improve the potential of youths to be self-reliant.