The Anambra State Government on Monday signed a “mutual relationship agreement” with the City of Orange, a township in New Jersey, U. S.
Gov. Willie Obiano signed on behalf of Anambra, while Mayor Dwayne Warren signed for the township at a ceremony held inside the City of Orange Municipal Building.
The agreement seeks to foster interaction between Anambra and the City of Orange in the areas of cultural exchanges, knowledge sharing and investments, among others.
In a speech shortly before the agreement was signed, Obiano described the ceremony as a historic moment not only for Anambra but also for the City of Orange.
He said the state needed the city’s expertise and technology to exploit its abundant natural resources, with a guarantee of huge returns on investment.
“Anambra is the 10th most populous state in Nigeria with a population of 6.5 million people and a population density of 860 people per square kilometer.
“In the past five years, we have been Nigeria’s safest state with crime rate at the lowest in living memory.
“It is no exaggeration to say that Anambra is the best place to locate an industry in Nigeria at the moment.
“We have one of the highest literacy rates in the country. We offer access to the largest retail market in west Africa.
“We have the largest crop of experienced middlemen and suppliers with enough expertise to move goods across Africa,” he said.
According to Obiano, Anambra has easy access to industrial land, which has been mapped out.
He said the state also had a speedy company registration process and issuance of certificate of occupancy in record time.
“Today, we are here in the lovely city of orange to invite America. Ladies and gentlemen, Anambra is ready for business. We are ready for America,” he said.
On his part, Dwayne said the agreement was about how the city and the state could partner culturally, economically and technologically to make life better for their communities.
“The City of Orange is happy for this day; we have talked about doing relationships with other countries and states abroad.
“When Anambra state came forward and had some interest in trying to exchange cultural ideas, it became something that we had to do.
“I am happy that the governor is here today, and ecstatic that he came with dignitaries here today that can advance the cause of good governance and good society,” the mayor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the City of Orange is an industry town of 30,134 people, located in Essex County, New Jersey.
The governor’s visit was facilitated by the City of Orange Diaspora Commission whose board is chaired by an indigene of Anambra called Callistus Onyiuke.
The governor also inspected a firefighting truck donated by the city to Anambra. (NAN)