Vice President Kashim Shettima has expressed Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening relations with the Republic of Korea, especially in promoting trade, technology transfer, and global peace.
He also reiterated the government’s plan to create one million jobs in the digital sector for young Nigerians.
Mr. Shettima stated this on Monday when he received a delegation from the Republic of Korea led by the Special Envoy to the President, Jang Sungmin, at the Presidential Villa.
The vice president states, “Nigeria and Korea have a robust bilateral relationship anchored on years of mutual trust and cooperation. A lot of Korean companies are doing business in Nigeria, especially in the area of oil and gas. Six of our LNG trains were constructed by Korean companies.
“We are fully committed to a very robust relationship between our nations. We need to learn much from Korea, especially in manufacturing and agriculture. You are a success story worthy of emulation by all developing nations.”
Mr. Shettima observed that many years ago, in the 50s and 60s, the Korean GDP was at par with many African countries, but today, Korea is among the developed nations. He said this is partly due to the leadership and commitment of the Korean people.
One million jobs in the digital sector
Speaking further, Mr. Shettima said by 2030, there will be a 65 percent global deficit, with the US and other countries suffering a six million talent deficit. He said Nigeria is in a position to fill the deficits because it has a huge young population.
The vice president told his guests that the Nigerian government would take advantage of the digital world by creating one million jobs in the sector.
“We are willing to partner with you in the area of technology because, by 2030, there will be a 65 percent global talent deficit, with the US, Russia, and Brazil suffering a six million talent deficit. I believe Nigeria is in a unique position to fill in those talent deficits because ours is a young nation.
“Seventy-five percent of Nigerians are below the age of 35, so we are soliciting your partnership and support in digital skills training for our young people. We want to create one million jobs in the digital world. India earned $120bn last year from global outsourcing, and we are in a unique position to take advantage of the opportunities in the sector. We need the skills set, we need the technology to drive the process, and yours is a technology that we can embrace,” he said.
The vice president assured the Korean Government of the Tinubu administration’s commitment to partner with Korea to strengthen relations between both countries, especially in balancing the trade deficit between the two countries.
On the agenda of the new Nigerian administration, Mr. Shettima noted that “security and economic development is the focus of our government. The government will make it easier for Korean businesses and other foreign investors to do business in Nigeria. Korea has always supported us in the international fora, and we have that obligation to reciprocate by supporting Korean businesses operating in Nigeria.”
Africa-Korea Summit 2024
He assured the Korean delegation that President Bola Tinubu would honor the invitation of his Korean counterpart to the Africa-Korea summit in 2024.
He added, “Be rest assured that Nigeria truly appreciates the Republic of Korea’s support to Nigeria in multilateral institutions, in the UN General Assembly, in our quest for a seat in the security council and in several UN bodies.”
Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Sungmin, who congratulated Nigeria for the successful inauguration of the new government, conveyed a special invitation from President Yoon to his Nigerian counterpart to attend the forthcoming Africa-Korea Summit in South Korea.
He also restated his country’s continuous support for Nigeria across different sectors, noting that Korea’s “collaboration with Nigeria can lead the 4th Industrial Revolution,” maintaining that the country’s “development is akin to Nigeria’s development.”
The delegation of the Special Envoy included KIM Young-chae, the ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria; YOO Chang-ho, deputy secretary to the President for Future Policy; JANG Sangwoo, deputy director for Planning and Execution Team, Bid Committee for World EXPO 2030 BUSAN; Guillaume Barthe-Dejean, vice president, SK; KIM Inkyu, chief financial officer, LG Electronics Nigeria Corp; Park Hyesong, Korea International Development Agency.