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The Minister of Labour and
Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has appealed to the Japanese Ambassador to
Nigeria, Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke to help Nigeria to woo back Japanese companies
that left Nigeria for Ghana and other African countries.

While making the appeal, the
minister insisted that the factors that drove those companies out of Nigeria
have tremendously eased

Ngige told the Japanese Ambassador:
“Investment climate in Nigeria has improved with the firm measures already
taken by this administration to shore up power supply, effectively tackle
corruption and improve the safety of lives and property. These are some of the
factors that drove these factories, but the iron cast resolve of the Federal
Government in putting them behind us is not in doubt

“The era where foreign investors
lose their investments to fraudsters is over as government has ensured adequate
protection for their investments and profits. So, we want you to invite
Japanese companies who were here to not only come back but also invite others
to invest in fertile opportunities offered in our agriculture, mining and
manufacturing sectors.”

“Look at the potentials in our huge
rubber belt across Nigeria for example. Michelin was here but relocated to a
neighboring country but the opportunities for brighter business prospects is
still better in Nigeria. These companies will surely do better here under the
environment we are creating.”

Sen. Ngige said Nigeria would learn
from the resilience of the Japanese to overcome the present economic
challenges, urging Japan to fully tap into the improved investment climate in
Nigeria.

He added that Nigeria under the
present administration has looked inwards to regain lost opportunities hence,
its emphasis on agriculture and mining, calling for Japanese investments and
the training of extension workers in this area.

The Minister urged the ambassador
to increase the number of Nigerians billed for participation in the yearly
training Programme from fifty to a thousand so as to have a meaningful impact
on a large population like Nigeria.

While regretting the trade
imbalance between the two countries, he pleaded with Japan to close the gap by
enabling skilled Nigerians live and work in their country under the
International Labour Migration policy of the International Labour Organisation.

Earlier in his remark, Mr Sadanobu
Kusaoke pledged Japan’s more active role in Nigeria’s economic diversification
programme through the expansion of its businesses into agriculture and mining.
He also commended the anti-terrorism and anti-corruption efforts of the present
administration as well as its determination to protect foreign investors.

“We are very hopeful that
government policy is going to do well in three important areas of
anti-terrorism, anti-corruption and economic diversification. But I believe
economic diversification is the area where the Japanese are most useful. We
have a lot of contributions to make to the diversification of the economy,”
said the Japanese Ambassador.

The Ambassador tied the job
creation efforts of the Federal Government to Nigeria’s ability to expand
existing businesses while creating opportunities for new ones, saying that his
country would encourage more Japanese to invest in Nigeria.

“I think first of all, we want to
encourage Japanese business through investment here. We want to expand our
existing business in Nigeria and such expansion is the most important factor to
improve the labour or employment situation. In the last one year, there are
four instances of Japanese companies that have opened businesses in Nigeria in
auto-motorcycle, beverage and chemical manufacturing. Some are in joint
partnership with Nigerians. We want to bring in more,” Karaoke said.

He said these businesses apart from
creating employment would assist in transfer of skills to Nigerian employees.
He further extended invitation to fifty Nigerians to a yearly training
programme in various skills in Japan taking off August 2017.

“The programme is intended for
African youths to study at Japanese Universities or colleges, with internship
in Japanese companies. We have already sent invitation for fifty Nigerian men
and women. The programme will ease international job migration,” he concluded.

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