The South Korea Government on Wednesday in Abuja said it had earmarked 27 million dollars (about N5.3 billion) for some development programmes in Nigeria.
The Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Noh Kyu-duk, stated this at a pre-departure orientation programme for Nigerians awarded Masters Degree scholarship to study in Korean universities.
Kyu-duk said that the programmes were being executed by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
He said that disbursement of the fund on various programmes began in 2013 and would terminate in 2018.
He said that under the programme, no fewer than 1,500 officials of governments in Nigeria had been trained.
Kyu-duk explained that Nigeria and Korea had common history, having come from being underdeveloped countries to developing economies.
“KOICA shall establish model junior and senior secondary schools in Abuja with a budget of 15 million dollars (about N3 billion) between 2013 and 2018 in partnership with Federal Capital Territory Administration and Universal Basic Education Commission.
“The capacity building of Nigeria e-Government Project is 8.56 million dollars (about N1.7 billion) between 2013 and 2018 in partnership with Federal Ministry of Communication Technology.
“It has also established Nigeria-Korea Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology in Kogi, with a budget of 3.5 million dollars (about N700 million) between 2010 and 2015, in partnership with Kogi Government,” he said.
He explained that the agency provided assistance through aid projects, invitational training in Korea and equipment provision such as relief aid.
According to the envoy, KOICA programmes focus on such sectors as education and human resources development, vocational training, governance, agriculture and healthcare.
Also speaking, KOICA Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Jung Sang-hoon, said the agency had sponsored no fewer than 42 Nigerian students under the scholarship programme.
“This year, six students have been selected from various government agencies to participate in KOICA training programmes.
“Through this programme, students are given the opportunity to learn from Korea’s experience in poverty reduction and socio-economic development.
“It will also give the students the opportunity to gain greater understanding of Korea that will contribute towards the future social, political and economic ties between Korea and Nigeria.
“The scholarship is provided for five qualified Nigerian participants for the e-Government Project to undertake training in Kookmin University in the Republic of Korea.
“Additionally, KOICA runs three-week short training programmes which has trained approximately 1,500 Nigerian government officials from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” he said.
The benefiting students of the scholarship which will keep them in Korean universities for about 18 months are Hussaini Sale, Computer Analyst, Ministry of Communication Technology and Mr Akande Gbenga, Principal Technology Officer, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Others are Ekwem Ifeyinwa, Phebian Bewaji and Ibrahim Sule.