Japan commits to bolstering security in Nigeria

Japan commits to bolstering security in Nigeria
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The Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Maj.-Gen. Oluyemi Olatoye inaugurating UNDP /Government of Japan Project 2024 on Monday at Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna.
Japan commits to bolstering security in Nigeria
By Muhammad Tijjani
The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria , Mr Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, says Japan remains firmly committed to supporting Nigeria’s efforts to create a safe and secured environment for all its citizens.
The ambassador made the commitment at the inauguration of project 2024, at Martin Luther Agwai  International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre(MLAILPKC) Jaji
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project was executed in  collaboration with the Government of Japan through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Kazuyoshi, who spoke virtually said the project exemplified that commitment, adding, ”we believe it will make a significant contribution to achieving that goal.
”One crucial aspect of building lasting peace is ensuring the active participation of women. Women are not just victims of conflicts, they are perfect agents for peace.”
According to the envoy,  over the decades, Nigeria has been confronted by insurgency and terrorist attacks particularly from Boko Haram in the North-East.
He said, ”These acts of violence had devastated lives and communities causing loss of lives and properties, mass displacement and significant economic losses.
“During my visit to Maiduguri on March  10, I witnessed first hand the plight of those impacted in the IDP camp.
“Just recently, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mrs Kam Kaowa, concluded her very first visit to Nigeria, during which she emphasized the critical importance of peace and security for Nigeria’s continued development and prosperity.”
Kazuyoshi   explained that since inception, MLAILPKC has trained over one 100, 000 troops on pre-deployment training and over 2200 persons on individual peace support operation courses.
They were drawn from Nigeria’s Armed Forces, Paramilitary organisations , government’s ministries, departments and agencies, civilians and allied countries.
He said the project was executed with  technical support from the UNDP and financial support of the government of Japan
”It has the potential to empower women, develop the new generations of female leaders who can play critical role in Nigeria peace building efforts,” the envoy added.
Also,  the Chief of Training, Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Sani Muhammad,  commended UNDP and the Government of Japan for sustaining the project over the years not only in Nigeria but across the globe.
The chief of training was represented Maj.-Gen. Oluyemi  Olatoye, Commandant Nigerian Army School of Infantry.
He said the 2024  project covers 3 vital courses: “Leadership and National Cohesion,  Comprehensive Protection of Civilians” and “Countering Violent Extremism”,  all to be executed by MLAILPKC.
” This project will significantly enhance the capacity of MLAILPKC to deliver world-class training and capacity-building programs, empowering military and security personnel.
“As well as other stakeholders, to effectively prevent, respond to, and manage emerging security challenges in Nigeria and the West African sub- region.
“Effective leadership and national cohesion, protection of civilians, and countering violent extremism are essential skills required by peacekeepers, security personnel, NGOs and selected MDAs.
“By acquiring these skills, participants of these courses will be empowered to lead, protect civilians, and counter violent extremism, ultimately contributing to a more peaceful and secure Africa, “Muhammad said.
Also in his remarks, the Team Lead,  Governance, Peace and Security, Mr Mathew Alao, said the event marked the commencement of the execution of the “Enhancing MLAILPKC’s Capacities for Effective Peace Support Operations in West Africa Project”.
Alao said the project was formulated by   MLAILPKC  and UNDP with funding assistance from the Government of Japan.
He said the main objective of the project was to advance democracy and national cohesion, peaceful co-existence and preserve the well-being of civilians in armed conflicts.
“The funding of this project reflects the importance that the Government of Japan and UNDP attach to peace and security issues in the world, especially in West Africa.
”The project will complement the efforts of the West Africa Member States to curtail the spread and influence of terrorism, extremism and violence in the region.
“Over the last decade, the Government of Japan, in partnership with UNDP, had invested over US$3 million in Peace Support Operations (PSOs), and anti-piracy projects in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.
“The projects had resulted in the capacities of about 1,000 military and paramilitary officers and civilians in 11 countries of the regions built and strengthened, ” Alao said.
He said  the Government of Japan, in collaboration with UNDP Nigeria, had funded over 15 projects with a budget of over US$28 million in Nigeria in a decade.
“Nigeria is the only country in Africa that has enjoyed perpetual funding of the PSOs project from the Government of Japan since 2014.
”We express our heartfelt gratitude to the Embassy of Japan, Abuja for its constant support to UNDP Nigeria,” Alao added.
Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj.-Gen. Ademola  Adedoja, said collaboration efforts with local and international partners have been instrumental in achieving the set objectives.
He said MLAILPKC  was proud to partner with organizations such as the UNDP, AU and ECOWAS.
” The Centre appreciates the collaborative effort of the Government of Japan towards her capacity development programmes.
“These strategic partnerships have enabled MLAILPKC to leverage resources, expertise, and networks, enhancing our impact in peacekeeping and conflict resolution capabilities in Nigeria and Africa.
”Through these partnerships, MLAILPKC continues to strengthen the capacity to promote peace, security, and development in Africa.
”The Centre looks forward to deepening our collaboration to achieve even greater results,” Adedoja said .(NAN) (www.nannews.ng).
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Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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