Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has declared that the Federal Government will pay all counterpart contributions in 2013 to ensure enhanced working relationship with international development partners investing in basic education.
Wike spoke in Abuja on Thursday while receiving the new Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, Mr Tetsuo Seki, said that the funding challenges witnessed in 2012 will be addressed next year.
He noted that the cooperation between Nigerian and Japanese governments which is centred on the development of Mathematics and Science education is important to the government’s drive to improve science and technology.
Wike said: “Our cooperation with JICA had challenges earlier this year in terms of our counterpart contributions. We have addressed these challenges in the 2013 budget. All our conterpart contributions for our collaborative programmes will be paid on schedule”.
The Minister stated that the government is open to all international development partners interested in investing in the nation’s education sector.
Wike said that the Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education, SMASE, programme of JICA would be introduced to more states of the Federation due to its relevance.
Earlier, the JICA Chief Representative, Tersuo Seki stated that Japanese philosophy is to work with host governments to achieve education growth.
He expressed the satisfaction of JICA for the steps taken by the Federal Government to address challenges that negatively affected the SMASE programme in 2012.
Seki noted that with the improvement of cooperation and dedication on both sides, the goals of the SMASE programme will be attained.
Seki was accompanied on the visit by the JICA Project Foundation Advisor, Akiko Kawamoto.