The government of Japan is partnering with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the federal government in the implementation of its Promoting Social Stabilisation through Entrepreneurship Development for the Youth in the Northeast (PRO-SSED) project.
The government of Japan has already committed the sum of $800,000 to the project which would run for one year in the selected north-eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe, while the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) is contributing the sum of $250,000 in kind, UNIDO is the implementing agency for the project.UNIDO and NERDC had approached and secured funding from the government of Japan.
Speaking at the formal launch of the project in Abuja , the Japanese ambassador to Nigeria , Mr Yutaka Kikuta, disclosed that the project which has a lifespan of one year and specifically designed to build and strengthen the trades specific skills and competencies of the participating students in the selected states, would help secondary school education system in the country produce youths who would be able to play a major role in the socio-economic development of the north-eastern Nigeria and the country as a whole.
While noting that insurgency has displaced more than 1.7million people in Nigeria as well as neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger , Kikuta said , Japan would continue to offer sustainable development, non-military, long –lasting assistance through UNIDO and other international organisations towards the common goal of rehabilitation and development of the north-east.
Country director, UNIDO, Jean Bakole, in his remarks said the agency would continue to step up efforts in the development of entrepreneurial abilities of students in the region.
While noting that 60 per cent of the country’s population were youths, Bakole said the PRO-SSED project would address issues of lack of investment, jobs and development, which he attributed to the high spate of extremism in the region.
He also added that UNIDO was fully committed to contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while delivering on its mandate to support Member States in achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).
Also executive secretary of NERDC, Professor Ismail Junaidu, described the PRO-SSED project as an effort that was in line with the current drive by the federal government towards enabling youths acquire appropriate core skills that would make them relevant in the ever competitive labour market.