The Abia State Government is set to strengthen its economic ties with the French Government to facilitate agricultural and business activities in the state.
Following this development, the state’s Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) scheme and the Enyimba Economic City are set to receive a huge boost.
The Enyimba Economic City (EEC) is a 9464 Hectares of Work, Live, Learn and Play City designed to connect all the 5 South-Eastern states as well as the 4 South-South states bordering the city and operate as a Free Trade Zone.
The partnership with France is the outcome of discussions held between the French Minister of Trade and Commerce, France Riester and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
This occurred when the governor led a delegation to France last week to attend the Livestock Summit organised by the French Embassy in Nigeria.
The items of discussion as well as its outcomes were contained in a release by the Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu.
It was during the summit that the State Governor sought a stronger partnership between Abia and France to give the needed push to economic activities in the state.
According to the release, Governor Ikpeazu requested greater engagement in the areas of livestock farming with a specific focus on Efi Igbo (the local breed of cattle found in the Southeast zone).
He noted that the partnership would involve vocational training for Abia youths who are willing to engage in agriculture, aquaculture, processing and export of agricultural products.
The governor was also keen on the development of the MSMEs in the state with particular reference to those engaged in the export of “made-in-Aba” brands.
Ikpeazu, while seeking support, 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, of which the Federal Government is a major partner.
Ikpeazu further stated his administration’s commitment to bettering the lives of the people of Abia State, through partnerships.
“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,” he averred.
Both parties also held discussions on other sub-sectors in the agriculture value chain such as Bamboo plantation and production, for possible collaboration.