The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said the total volume of trade between Nigeria, the economic powerhouse of Africa, and Japan is $ 1 billion a year.
Kazuyoshi explained this on Monday in a taped video at the opening ceremony of a two-week anti-piracy course organized by the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Center (MLAILPKC) in Jaji, Kaduna.
The course took place in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Japanese government. The envoy expressed his determination to promote activities that would increase the volume of trade between his country and Nigeria. He stressed the need for efforts to promote bilateral trade and increase Nigeria’s economic growth in order to combat unemployment and poverty.
He also expressed his country’s determination to encourage fishing activities in Nigeria and said this would boost the economy.
“The Japanese government sees the need to promote the fishing industry in the southern states of Nigeria. Japan and Nigeria are far apart, but we are connected by sea. So, as a true friend of Nigeria, you can say that Nigeria’s business is Japan’s business, ”he said.
He said that ensuring maritime safety in the Gulf of Guinea, a major trade hub in West Africa, was needed to promote bilateral trade. He noted that the Japanese government is committed to contributing to West Africa’s security and protecting people’s lives through a variety of measures, including capacity building for maritime safety personnel.
Kazuyoshi said, “This project is one of Japan’s contributions to capacity building. We hope that the training will improve the safety of the Gulf of Guinea through the knowledge that the 30 trainees will acquire.
“The project also falls under the category of ‘Support for the Stabilization of Conflict Regions’, one of the three main areas of the Japanese initiative ‘New Approach to Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA)’ announced in 2019.”
Kazuyoshi recognized the Nigerian government, the Nigerian military, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and other organizations for their continuous efforts in the fight against piracy through various initiatives.
UNDP Governance, Peace and Security Team Leader Matthew Alao said 98,350 of the $ 260,000 the Japanese government allocated to counter piracy and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly the Nigerian waterway, was 98,350 US dollars earmarked for the course.
The coastal countries on the Gulf of Guinea are Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gabon, Ghana, São Tomé and Principe, Togo and Sierra Leone.