The United Kingdom (UK) is to partner the Nasarawa State government in the area of agriculture, mining, education and infrastructural development of the state.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, disclosed this when she paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House, Lafia, the state capital.
According to Laing, the transformation achieved by the state in the area of agriculture was very important to the UK government, saying they were ready to use their expertise to partner with the state for the growth and development of the state.
“There is also a good potential for mining in Nasarawa State. Nasarawa has a very unique posture and comparative advantage, especially with its proximity to Abuja. Getting in place the rightful enabling environment and how quickly Nasarawa jumped through the ranks to number three in investment flow in the country is quite amazing. Therefore, we would look for areas to partner with Nasarawa State,” she said.
Responding, Governor Abdullahi Sule noted that the state had developed a Public Private Partnership forum which has been a veritable tool to foster private sector investment in the state.
“The state secured radical projects in education, transportation, health, mining and agriculture. We have established the Nasarawa State Infrastructural Fund where 5% of our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) would be dedicated mainly for infrastructural development.
“We have also exhibited necessary steps, including working with a UK consortium to prepare a detailed feasibility study to meet with the requirements of the African Development Bank on special agro- industrial processing zones which we are developing in Karu Local Government Area of the state, close to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” Governor Sule said.
The governor said the state was committed to developing the agricultural sector through mechanised farming, saying soon the state would become a major producer of rice and sugar in Africa. He welcomed the collaboration idea between the UK government and the state and expressed optimism that the partnership would bring more development to the state.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency, (NASIDA), Barr Ibrahim Abdullahi said the state was experiencing an increase in its investment and was ranked among the top three investment states in Nigeria.
He said the development of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS) under Governor Sule has improved transparency in governance, encouraging more donor partnerships geared towards the economic transformation of the state.