Why We Can't Give Nigeria Military Equipment – Japan


Despite the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, and other forms of insecurity destroying the country, the Japanese government has revealed why it was unable to deliver any military weapons to Nigeria.

Mr. Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, gave the explanation during a meeting with the management of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), led by its Managing Director, Mr. Mohammad Alkali, on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, the Japanese government was unable to provide any military weapons to Nigeria due to "military regulation limitations."

He did say, though, that the Japanese government will continue to support the NEDC's activities based on the North East Re-building master plan, and that he hoped for better bilateral relations between the two countries.

“In Japan, the news about Nigeria is already being read in the Japanese media, not only concerning football, but also about Boko Haram and terrorism in the North East. However, many Japanese people believe that there are many extremists in the North East, which is not the case.

"The major reason is to figure out how to get out of poverty and grow the economy." That is the most crucial aspect. They have requested assistance from the Japanese government. We are unable to provide any military equipment due to restrictions imposed by military regulations. Another significant topic is security, as large Japanese corporations are currently unwilling to invest in Nigeria due to security concerns. As you may know, Japan is a conservative country, therefore we try to avoid taking risks," he explained.

He claimed that the Japanese government and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are collaborating to transfer technology to Nigeria in order to address social issues, and that Toyota and Yahamah auto companies are already training mechanics from the North East in Lagos to repair cars and motorcycles in the region.

He regretted that persistent attacks in the Northeast had been a big impediment to Japanese private sector investment in the region.

He also stated that the Japanese government is collaborating with UNICEF to construct over 50,000 toilets in Nigeria to assist reduce and eliminate open defecation.

In response, Alkali stated that the commission was the central organisation in charge of analysing, coordinating, and harmonising all North-East development projects.

He stated that the Japanese government must continue to fund the commission's work based on the master plan's NEDC roadmap.

According to Alkali, the Embassy has been assisting in the recovery and reconstruction of North-East states by disbursing supplemental budget to UN agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for capacity development of government officials and communities, infrastructure development, and equipment provision.

He also stated that approximately $75 million would be required to carry out immediate rehabilitation and resettlement efforts and projects in the Northeast as a result of the rebels' devastation.

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