France promises to support Ogun in ICT, empowerment, others
The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Emmanuelle Blatmann, has expressed her country’s readiness to partner with Ogun State Government in developing transportation, information technology, culture and women empowerment.
Blatmann, who disclosed this while on a courtesy call to Governor Dapo Abiodun in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, yesterday, noted that Ogun had the potential to be the leading state in the country.
She said France was committed and working towards developing more mutual relationship with Nigeria, adding that her country has invested more than 10 billion euros in the country, an amount she said, was more than what her country invested in the whole of other West African countries, including French West Africa.
“In the last five to ten years, we have been increasing our activities at all levels with nearly one hundred million French companies.
“The stock of the Foreign Direct Investment from French Private Sectors is around 10billion euros which is quite a lot and the French Agency for Development on the public sector has over the last 12 years financed over 35 projects close to 3billion euros, this is a very important commitment”, Blatmann stated.
Responding, Governor Abiodun, while intimating the French Ambassador on some of the efforts made to reposition the state, said all sectors including security, infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, had been touched.
He noted that his administration’s efforts in the agricultural sector and the encouragement given to small scale entrepreneurs has just earned the state an award which would be officially conferred on the state soon.
“The Presidency has just given us an award for the Best MSME State of the year in policy support and that award will be given on Monday, 27th of June at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“We know what we are doing here, we are very serious-minded, we have been entrusted with a mandate by our people and we are doing everything to justify that mandate that has been entrusted to us”, he said.
The governor pointed out that Ogun has about 16,000 square kilometers of land out of which a greater part is arable for planting various cash and food crops, calling on French investors to key into the state agricultural sector.
He commended the French companies for investing in the state, noting that some of the projects embarked upon by the French government including the water project has been successful, calling for more collaboration for mutual benefit of the two nations.