The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has awarded fully funded scholarships to 39 Nigerian youths with an opportunity to work in Japanese companies.
Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, the Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, and Yuzurio Susumu, JICA’s country representative, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during the send-off for the beneficiaries.
The 39 students would benefit from three different programmes, including Africa Business Education Initiative and SDGs Global Leader Programme. The third programme is Partnership for Building Resilience against Public Health Emergencies through Advanced Research and Education (PREPARE).
Mr Matsunaga said the initiative would strengthen the Japanese-Nigerian universities and foster Nigeria’s development across all sectors.
“Japan and Nigeria have trade volume annually of nearly $1 billion. However, I feel more potentially to have more Japanese companies coming here. To invest and collaborate with other governments and also UN agencies to assist Nigeria to develop more,” said the Japanese envoy.
He added, “Today, we will send 39 very talented Nigerian youths. I really expect them to be good Ambassadors, to promote and to strengthen the Nigeria-Japanese relationship.”
On his part, Mr Yuzurio said the initiative would extend development beyond the public sector to the private sector.
Bitrus Chinoko, the director-general of the Centre for Management Development (CMD), commended Japan for the scholarships.
Aliyu Bawalle, the president of KAKEHASHI Africa Nigeria Initiative (KANI), co-organiser of the event and ex-beneficiary of the programme, said the initiative, in its ninth edition, had seen an increase with 39 beneficiaries this year, the highest since its inception.