The Abia State government and the French Government have struck a deal to develop a stronger economic cooperation with special emphasis on agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as the Enyimba Economic City in Abia State.
At the end of discussions between Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the French Minister of Trade and Commerce, France Riester at the Livestock Summit organised by the French Embassy in Nigeria, the governor said that the partnership would involve vocational training for Abia youths who are willing to engage in agriculture.
The youths, he added, would also be exposed through training, to aquaculture, processing and export of agricultural products as well as support for the development of the MSMEs in the state with particular reference to those engaged in the export of made-in-Aba brands.
Governor Ikpeazu, who sought for stronger partnership between Abia and France in order to give the needed push to economic activities in the state also requested for greater engagement in the areas of livestock farming with a specific focus on Efi Igbo (the local breed of cattle found in Southeast zone).
The governor described his recent trip to France as “highly successful” and that his administration will continue to seek partnerships that will ultimately ensure a 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.
“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 the 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 Coordinator of Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency, Ndubuisi Endi Ezengwa, Commissioner Nominee and former Commissioner for Agriculture, Ikpechukwu Mgbeoji, Coordinator of Abia Livestock Farmers Association, Uchenna Onyeizu, agricultural expert, Nonso Ogbunamiri, a member of Abia Livestock Farmers Association, Okey Ahaiwe.