By; BALA B BITRUS, Minna
Niger State Government has invited the United Kingdom to help develop its vast agricultural potentials and train its budding youth population on vocational skills acquisition.
Governor of the state, Abubakar Sani Bello said existing areas of cooperation between the state and UK government should be further explored and expanded beyond institutional.
He said that the state is willing to fling open its doors for investors from the UK to partner in agriculture and other areas that would further bolster the economy of the state and of its citizens.
Governor Bello spoke in his office when he hosted the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright.
He said the state is also looking forward to benefit from vocational training for youths in the state by UK based institutions in order to empower the youths and thus improve the economy of the state.
Governor Bello acknowledged the bilateral partnership between the state and the Cambridge University for the development of the educational sector of the state which he noted has been mutually beneficial.
He told the visiting envoy that Niger State Government was also prepared to leverage on the collaborative agreement with the Cambridge University to seek for support in vocational training development for the state owned tertiary institutions particularly in the Faculty of Education at the state’s university.
“We are getting support from the Cambridge University based on the agreement we signed. They have fulfilled the first phase of the agreement,” he noted.
And to further expand the frontiers of cooperation, the governor said, the Niger state government has also met with the Business School of the University and “they have expressed willingness to partner with us in other areas” he disclosed.
He said at the moment, the state was in a partnership with the Cambridge University’s Faculty of Education for business and vocational training to help develop youths in the state for gainful ventures.
Speaking on agriculture which he noted is the mainstay of citizens in the state, the Governor said British industrialists could cash on the huge endowment of the state in cotton and Soya beans production as well as other varieties of farm produce which are available in commercial quantities for their industries.
The British High Commissioner, had earlier spoken on the need for greater areas of mutual cooperation between his country and Niger state.
Mr. Arkwright said he was in the state to explore ways to further strengthen the relationship between Britain and Niger state for the development of economic links between them.
He expressed optimism that both the United Kingdom and Niger state stand to benefit from mutual relationship between them.
“By bringing in our experts and companies for investments in your state, job opportunities would be created particularly in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure and mining in the state” he said.