By Victoria Ojeme
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Japan, Abubakar Husaini has said that its new liberal policy on visa application is attracting business community from Japan to Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Embassy marking the 100 days in office of the new ambassador and the 61st anniversary of Nigeria-Japan diplomatic relations.
Husani said “In the past one hundred days, there was an increase in visa applications that were processed by the Embassy. Sixty-one (61) biometric visas were issued during the period. This is an indication of the renewed interest by the Japanese business community to engage in trade and investment in Nigeria, despite the pandemic.”
Giving account of his stewardship, he said that the day was even more remarkable as it marked the 61st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Japan.
“Today, 1st October, 2021 is Nigeria’s National Day – the day the country secured its independence from its colonial master. It is interesting to note that today also marks the 61st anniversary of Nigeria-Japan diplomatic relations.
“The day is also special to me because it marks 100 days of my stewardship in Japan as the new Head of Mission in the Embassy.
“These one hundred days have been eventful for me, notwithstanding the restrictions occasioned by the highly-commendable efforts of the Host authorities to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
Speaking on his interactions so far, the envoy pointed out that he had met with the leadership of the Nigerian Union in Japan (NUJ), the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (NCCIJ) and the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO).
“I am happy to observe that most Nigerians residing in Japan are projecting the image of Nigeria positively, in the Host country.
“This has further strengthened my resolve to express keen interest in the welfare of Nigerians in Japan,” he said.
The Ambassador also said that during the 100-day period, 140 passports had been issued without any negative complaints.
He added that the positive image of Nigeria in Japan was further consolidated by the brilliant performance of Team Nigeria at the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Paralympic Games.
He said that although he assumed office at a critical time when COVID-19 was taking a toll, the embassy had taken measures to curtail its spread through adherence to precaution.
Husaini observed that Japan was keen about its relations with Nigeria and would work to foster the advancement of relations.
“Japan is keenly interested in strengthening bilateral relations with Nigeria by paying greater attention to issues that affect our two countries with greater vigour and enthusiasm.
“I am happy to note that this period has opened a new vista in the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Japan.
“The Embassy is strongly committed to this too. We shall continue to demonstrate our commitment to improve on the existing relations between both countries in all ramifications and in the spirit of reciprocity.
“To further express my commitment to strengthen diplomatic, economic and trade relations with Japan, I had meetings with top government functionaries and very senior officials of some important organisations in the country. Strategic decisions were reached during the meetings. The officials I visited included the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Director-General of African Affairs in Host Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Chief Executive Officer of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and many others are in the pipeline, including the Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Tsusho and the Chairman of Honda.
“I have been featured in some Japanese and Nigerian-based media organisations. They include the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), other electronic and print media in Nigeria as well as the NIKKEI incorporated Newspaper and “The Japan Times.” My response to the different media interviews I granted them explains the clear path I intend to take to move relations between Nigeria and Japan to a new level during my tenure.
“I like to seize the occasion of the 61st Independence Anniversary of our country to re-assure Nigerians residing in Japan that the Embassy would continue to ensure that issues related to their welfare are accorded high priority.
“I would count on their support to achieve the aspirations before me as Ambassador of Nigeria to Japan, at this time.
“I also thank the Government and People of Japan; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; and indeed, all those who sent messages of Goodwill to our Embassy on the occasion of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria.” he said.
Vanguard News Nigeria