The development of agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as the Enyimba Economic City in Abia State is expected to receive a big boost following assurances of stronger economic cooperation between Abia and the French Government.
This was the outcome of discussions that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu held with the French Minister of Trade and Commerce, France Riester when he led a delegation to France last week to attend the Livestock Summit organised by the French Embassy in Nigeria.
It was during the summit that the Abia governor sought stronger partnership between Abia and France in order to give the needed push to economic activities in the state.
The Abia commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu in a release said that in the course of discussion with Riester, Governor Ikpeazu requested for greater engagement in the areas of livestock farming with specific focus on Efi Igbo (the local breed of cattle found in Southeast zone).
He said that the partnership would involve vocational training for Abia youths who are willing to engage in agriculture, aquaculture, processing and export of agricultural products as well as support for development of the MSMEs in the state with particular reference to those engaged in export of made-in-Aba brands.
The Abia Chief Executive described the Enyimba Economic City project as the single biggest development agenda in Nigeria and Africa today and called on the French government and investors to key into the project in which the Federal Government is a major partner.
Ikpeazu on return to the country at the weekend described the trip to France as “highly successful” stating that his administration will continue to seek partnerships that will ultimately ensure better life for the people of Abia state.
“Our focus remains to bequeath a better Abia to the people of the state who entrusted us with their mandate and this trip is one of many such efforts,” he said, adding, “We are hopeful that a lot of positives will come out of the engagement”.
The visit, which was facilitated by the French Embassy in Nigeria also reviewed the planned establishment of a Technical Vocation Education Training (TVET) Village at Nsulu in partnership with Schneider Electric of France.
Other areas that were discussed for possible cooperation with France include Waste to Energy project, Bamboo plantation, production and its value chain, Solar electricity generation, and Solar street lighting.
The delegation Governor Ikpeazu led to the Livestock Summit included the Cordinator of Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency, Mr Ndubuisi Endi Ezengwa, Commissioner Nominee and former Commisioner for Agricuiture, Prof Ikpechukwu Mgbeoji, Cordinator of Abia Livestock Farmers Association, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu, agricuitural expert, Chief Nonso Ogbunamiri, a member of Abia Livestock Farmers Association, Chief Okey Ahaiwe.