Sunday, 24 March 2013

Three European Countries To Partner With Rivers State To Improve Education And Agriculture In The State

Gov Amaechi
Three European nations; Finland, Austria and Norway have indicated interest in partnering with the Rivers State Government in promoting education, energy, trade and commerce in the state.

This was made known on Tuesday when Ambassadors of the nations paid a courtesy visit to the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi at Government House, in Port Harcourt recently.

They expressed their country’s willingness to kick start multilateral relations with the State to enhance cooperation between the State and the three Scandinavian Countries.

Finland’s Ambassador of to Nigeria, Mrs. Riitta Korpivaara said: “We very much appreciate coming to Rivers State for the first time ever as Ambassadors of our countries. We plan to visit the University of Port Harcourt to discuss education development in Rivers State and how our countries could partner with Rivers state in the field of education which is an area that is especially dear to me and to my country Finland.”

“Also, we would like to enhance co-operation in trade and commerce between your state and our countries. We already have various companies from our states which have already established their offices in Rivers but we would like to promote and improve trade relations and we are interested especially in offshore business, energy and education which I already mentioned and I am very glad that we have this opportunity now to come and see with our own eyes, because as you know, Abuja is quite artificial when you compare it to other cities of Nigeria and meet other people other than the politicians and diplomats in Abuja. So we are very pleased to have this occasion.”

Korpivaara also indicated that the delegation while in the state will meet with Shell and visit the Chamber of Commerce and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the field of environmental protection and others.

Mr. Rolf Ree, Norwegian Ambassador, commended the Amaechi administration for using state resources to develop education. “It’s a great pleasure to be here in Port Harcourt for the first time for me as the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria. Actually, a special pleasure in the sense that I come from the Port Harcourt of Norway, Stanger, the centre of the oil industry in Norway and it is very interesting to me to see how Port Harcourt is developing and using the resources of the oil industry to expand education- an area that I understand is very close to your heart.”
It is also of interest for us as a country that has benefited greatly from oil sales that also benefits from co-operating with Nigeria and participating in the oil industry in Nigeria to also visit representatives of environmental NGOs and try to explore more on the societal challenges that you face in this area,” he said.

On his part, the Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Joachim Oppinger also expressed his country’s willingness to have bilateral relations with Rivers State to further develop the state’s education sector.

He said, “Let me just add one short remark which is sort of my interest in coming to Rivers State. I have been here before for a very short time in Nigeria but there is the saying, if you want to understand a person, you have to look at his heart, and for me not only for the reason that the oil is pumped out of the ground, the heart of Nigeria I think is Rivers State. So I think it is important to know how Rivers State is doing to understand Nigeria. I see there is great investment in education going on, we just spoke about that in Rivers State and I think at the end of the day even a country which has such potential in raw material, the real raw material in any country is the brain and I see that there is a strong investment in the brain here and I think there is a chance that Rivers state at a point in time, might not only be the heart pumping the oil, but also the brain of Nigeria and it is indeed good news.”

Responding, Governor Chibuike Amaechi thanked the Ambassadors and assured them of the state’s eagerness in partnering with the area of education.

He also said that security had greatly improved in the state which is why some companies were relocating their headquarters and their staff back to Port Harcourt, the state capital.
“There is an indication that there is an improvement in security which we need to focus on to ensure that we don’t lose it again, we continue to remain peaceful. Basically, when it comes to security, the reason for which you have insecurity is poverty. If we address poverty and people are working, they won’t leave their work to go and kidnap people or commit armed robbery or other vices,” Amaechi said.

Amaechi also mentioned that his administration would also focus on agriculture as a means of creating employment and food increase in the state.

“So in Rivers State here, we are working hard towards creating social environment that improves on people’s well-being and if that happens then you have reduction in crime. We are focusing on agriculture as a tool to creating employment for the workers that are not educated and employed in an unskilled environment. So once you address unskilled labour, then you can tackle the skilled labour a bit easily because they are more mature and not too easily prone to crime. So we are dealing with agriculture with a focus on the primary aspect of agriculture because the secondary aspect which has to do with processing is a bit complicated for the unskilled. But, we are also dealing with the secondary aspect because we have a farm we are partnering with an Israeli firm, about 5,000 hectares of land which includes both primary and secondary to create employment both for the unskilled and skilled manpower.”

“So we will be glad to partner with you in the area of education and I think I will get the Commissioner for Education to meet with you tomorrow because I have already briefed you that we send about 300 children every year to UK and Canada and that we have tried to exploit the free opportunity in Germany, that we were able to send only 15, then we tried to exploit the one in Brazil when the Ambassador spoke to us. Out of the 50 chances they gave us, we were able to send only six not because we didn’t enroll 50, but like I told you 44 failed. Some failed woefully so they won’t go back. Others failed in between and they have been asked to repeat the course for another one year. So we will be glad to partner with you and see what opportunities that are open to us,” Amaechi said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to know what you think about this post. Please leave a comment here-

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...