From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Governor Yahaya Bello yesterday in Abuja met with the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Franck Reister to discuss on economic issues
The governor was represented by the state commissioner of Finance and Economic development, Asiwaju Asiru
The meeting was at the request of the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jèrôme Pasquier to discuss subsisting support to states and also seek areas of priorities where collaboration can be consumated.
It is noted that Agence Française De Dévelopement (AFD) as an interventionist agency is developing rural transport infrastructure through the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) for a total amount of 200million EURO, which is co-financed by the World Bank.
Kogi state and 12 other states of the federation is a beneficiary of the developmental program.
Asiwaju while delivering his remarks, stated unequivocally that the nine thematic areas of the new direction government as led by Governor Yahaya Bello in Kogi State are fully in alignment with the broad focused areas.
“For instance, our priorities in Security, Agriculture, Funding of Governance, Public Service and Pension Reform are in line with your economic diversification drive and modernization of public services. Also, our priority on Education, Health, Human Capital Development, Entrepreneurship & Youth Engagement are also in sync with your aim of boosting Agriculture at the regional level, that is, creating an atmosphere of Inclusive Economic Growth.
“Furthermore, all our thematic areas are in compliance with Environmental Sustainability and Resilience, which is similar to your goals of Financing the low-carbon energy transition and reinventing cities that are environmentally friendly.
“The Governor seeks support in all the state thematic areas, which he believes are well aligned with Agence Française De Développement 4 focused areas in Nigeria.”
Also present at the meeting were the Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State Governor; Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State; Simon Lalong who stood in for the Chairman, Governor of Oyo; Seyi Makinde, Governor of Edo; Mr Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Cross River; Ben Ayade while some Governors joined virtually. Also present were the Deputy Governors of Ebonyi , Niger and Enugu states.The DG Governors’ Forum, Head of Regional Economic Department, Nigeria & Ghana Pascal Furth, Country Director AFD, Pascal Grangereau among others.