My im­pres­sion about Nige­ria changed when I ar­rived – En­voy

Weekly Trust - - Interview -

schol­ar­ships, the num­ber of Nige­rian ben­e­fi­cia­ries is in­creas­ing. We have a lot of suc­cess­ful ex­am­ples. The cur­rent Nige­rian Am­bas­sador to Japan, Prof. Mo­hammed Gana Yisa, is one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

Do you have sim­i­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties for train­ing of­fi­cials in the pri­vate sec­tor?

The schol­ar­ship pro­gramme is opened to all. JICA train­ing pro­gramme is open to of­fi­cials in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s schol­ar­ship is specif­i­cally for stu­dents, while JICA pro­gramme and ABE Ini­tia­tive are open to all. There is no clear dis­tinc­tion. In ad­di­tion, Ja­panese pri­vate com­pa­nies have a lot of train­ing pro­grammes in which they train peo­ple on tech­ni­cal ar­eas.

Is there any co­op­er­a­tion in film pro­duc­tion be­tween both coun­tries?

The film in­dus­try is a promis­ing sec­tor. At this mo­ment, there is no such thing as solid co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

Firstly, I will like to in­crease the aware­ness in Japan about Nol­ly­wood, and vice versa. I will also like to ex­plore the op­por­tu­nity for Nige­ri­ans to know more about Ja­panese films. Re­cently, we had Ja­panese an an­i­mated film fes­ti­val in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the French Em­bassy and Asian film fes­ti­val with other Asian coun­tries in Abuja. I will like to ex­plore any op­por­tu­nity in La­gos to talk about col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nol­ly­wood films.

Two years to Tokyo 2020 Olympics, what are the prepa­ra­tions so far?

Japan’s prepa­ra­tion was highly recog­nised by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC), and I will say more than 60 per cent prepa­ra­tion is al­ready done. We don’t only put phys­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties in place, but also have Ja­panese vol­un­teers.

Re­cently, the IOC chair vis­ited Japan and was very much im­pressed about Japan’s pre­pared­ness. Only re­cently, I hosted a din­ner for Nige­ria’s LOC Chair­man, Mr. Abu Gumel, and he had a good im­pres­sion about Japan’s pre­pared­ness for the Tokyo Olympics.

The only is­sue re­main­ing be­tween Nige­ria and Japan is the train­ing of ath­letes. We have a kind of train­ing pro­gramme where we send Nige­rian ath­letes to Japan and in­vite Ja­panese sports coaches to Nige­ria.

How would you like Nige­ri­ans to re­mem­ber you at the end of your duty tour?

I would like Nige­ri­ans to re­mem­ber Japan, not the Ja­panese Am­bas­sador; that in Nige­ria, there is Japan. Like I told you ear­lier, I would like Nige­ri­ans to see Japan as a cred­i­ble part­ner.

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