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Japan Partners FG, UNIDO On Youth Entrepreneurship Development



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.