Nigeria, Japan trade volume $1b yearly, says envoy
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, has said the total trade volume between Nigeria, the economic powerhouse in Africa, and Japan is $1 billion per year.
Kazuyoshi stated this via a recorded video on Monday at the inauguration ceremony of a two- week anti-piracy course organised by the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) in Jaji, Kaduna.
The course was in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Japanese government. The envoy expressed determination to promote activities that would boost trade volume between his country and Nigeria. He stressed the need for efforts to promote bilateral trade and enhance the economic growth of Nigeria to address unemployment and poverty.
He also expressed the determination of his country to promote fishing activities in Nigeria, saying this would boost the economy.
“The government of Japan feels the necessity to promote the fishing industry in the southern states of Nigeria. Japan and Nigeria are far apart but we are connected by sea. Therefore, as a true friend of Nigeria, it can be said that Nigeria’s matter is Japan’s matter,” he said.
He said ensuring maritime safety in the Gulf of Guinea, a key trade hub in West Africa, is needed to promote bilateral trade. He noted that the Japanese government is committed to contributing to the security of West Africa and protecting people’s lives through a variety of measures including capacity building for personnel in charge of maritime safety.
Kazuyoshi said: “This project is one of Japan’s contributions towards capacity building. We hope that the training will improve the safety of the Gulf of Guinea through the knowledge the 30 trainees will acquire.
“The project also falls under the category of ‘Support for stabilisation of regions facing conflicts’, which is one of the three main areas of Japan’s ‘New Approach to Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA)’ initiative announced in 2019.”
Kazuyoshi appreciated the government of Nigeria, the Nigerian military, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and other organisations for their continuous efforts in fighting piracy through various initiatives.
The UNDP Team Lead on Governance, Peace and Security, Mr. Matthew Alao, said out of the $260,000 earmarked by the Japanese government towards combating piracy and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea, especially Nigerian waterway, $98,350 dollars was set aside for the course.
The coastal countries situated along the Gulf of Guinea are Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gabon, Ghana, São Tomé and Principe, Togo and Sierra Leone.