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Canada offers to train Nigerian military on anti-terrorism

The Canadian Government on Wednesday offered to support Nigeria in the training of the military on anti-terrorism.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Perry Calderwood, who made the pledge in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, said the training would help in tackling the current wave of insurgence perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorist Islamist sect in the northern part of the country.

The High Commissioner said he was in Calabar to unveil projects executed by his home country, adding that over $20m had been expended on various projects in Nigeria.

Calderwood, who sympathised with Nigeria on the activities of the terrorist group, said his government was investigating the techniques being used by the group and would share the outcome with the security operatives.

He said terrorism was becoming a serious issue in the world, adding that western leaders were determined to put an end to it.

The High Commissioner promised that his government would train the Nigerian military on new techniques in counter-insurgency.

He said, “We are in solidarity with the Nigerian Government on the fight against terrorism. We are already investigating the techniques to track the insurgents and we would assist the security forces to combat the threat.”

He, therefore, urged the various security agencies to share information as that could help in tracking down terrorists and reducing the impact of their activities.

Calderwood also urged the Federal Government to identify the reason behind terrorist activities in the country in order to find a permanent solution to it.

Speaking on the execution of projects, Calderwood said the $20m (N3bn) expended on projects spanned from 2006 to 2013.

The intervention projects, according to Calderwood, are in the areas of healthcare with special focus on training of personnel.

Other areas included the provision of primary healthcare facilities in rural areas in Bauchi and Cross River states, upgrading of the Cross River College of Health Technology, ICT development, and medical equipment provision, among others.

“Nigeria and Canada have a wide-range, dynamic relationship dating back to the 60s when Canadian teachers came to teach in Nigeria,” he said.

Interestingly, Calderwood said Canada would not pull out of the partnership but will seek new areas to enhance social and economic growth of the black nation.

He said, “We have keen interest in bio-diversity especially in Cross River State that has rich bio-diversity hotspots. Bio-diversity could promote economic development through development of ecotourism, and my country is keen to seek partnership with Nigeria on climate change and bio-diversity for ecotourism development.

“Ecotourism is now receiving global attention. It is the biggest industry in Rwanda and when I visited that country, I was astonished to see that dollars was in hot exchange there. Cross River State has great potentials in ecotourism and that can enhance its economic growth.”

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