With the aim of strengthening the capacity of the Nigerian Army in its peacekeeping operations, the Government of Japan has provided support to the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership & Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILKPC) through a project implemented by UNDP.
Established in 2003, the MLAIKPC undertakes and delivers research and training programmes that contribute to global peacekeeping operations. UNDP is working with the centre in an effort to facilitate transfer of skills and knowledge necessary to effective participation in peacekeeping operations. Nigeria remains one of the key contributors to UN and ECOWAS peacekeeping missions.
The support from the Government of Japan will enhance the centre’s ability to deliver its courses to in a diverse aspects of peacekeeping operations. This includes, among others, protection of civilians and counter-terrorism as well as prevention of irregular migration. It will also potentially contribute to reduce violent extremism, crime and exclusion. Specifically, the crosscutting themes, such as, Gender, Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, Rule of Law and other relevant frameworks that will help to create just and peaceful societies.
The funding support of over USD 300,000 the centre will also be able to undertake renovations its hostel, install and provide alternative sources of power, and upgrade its ICT infrastructure.
At the official launch of this project in Jaji, Kaduna State, the Commandant of the Centre, Major General Abubakar Tarfa in his remarks thanked the Government of Japan for the partnership which has continued to facilitate the centre’s training activities and operations – so far, support from Japan has benefited over five hundred trainees.
Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, stated that the support will be useful in helping the centre update its curricula on counter-terrorism, protection of civilians and prevention of irregular migration among others. “The upsurge of criminalities and violence, like the Boko Haram insurgency, has increased the necessity to build and strengthen the capacity of military and para-military forces, civil security agencies and non-governmental organizations in protection of civilians, local communities and the region. For this reason, we propose two-fold areas which this intervention would support; that is, strengthen institutional capacity and enhance human capacity of the centre to effectively discharge its mandate,” kikuta Stated.
UNDP Officer-in-Charge, Frederick Ampiah, said during the launch of the project, that the intervention will contribute towards the achievement of SDG 16 and support efforts towards the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective and accountable institutions at all levels in the country.
Speaking at the event, representative of the Honourable Minister of Budget & National Planning, Sanjo Faniran expressed government’s appreciation towards the government and people of Japan and UNDP for the support noting that the initiative’s goals was in tandem with Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of Federal Government of Nigeria.