The British Government says it will partner with Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in the areas of business, investment, agriculture and others to develop the South-East region.
Dr Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, disclosed this when he paid a visit to the leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide at the organisation’s Headquarters in Enugu on Tuesday.
Montgomery, who said the United Kingdom already had a long time development partnership with Enugu State on health, education and economy, promised to improve on the relationship to build the region.
He said, “I understand the challenges this region faces and the opportunities which we can build and also share sentiment to sustain the long relationship with this region and the United Kingdom”.
The high commissioner said the UK would assist in developing the zone along the areas of education, agriculture, industrial development, power and seaport as presented by the President-General of Ohanaeze, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
Montgomery said, “We will look into the issues and see what we can do and will engage in various development programmes for the region.
“The Business Council which the President General, Chief Iwuanyanwu said he will establish as well as agriculture services and industries are areas of interest to us.
“And we are working on how to boost trade between Nigeria and UK, increase incentives for investment and opportunities between the two countries”.
Montgomery, who expressed his love for the dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit the South-East region had demonstrated, pledged to work with the zone to boost economic prosperity for its people.
Earlier, Iwuanyanwu, while welcoming the British High Commissioner to Igboland, noted that the challenges of his office were enormous but expressed the confidence and assurance to surmount them.
He listed education, agriculture, industrial development, infrastructure, roads, railways, sea-port and electricity as major areas he intended to address expeditiously to boost the economy of the South-East.
The president-general said Ohaneze Ndigbo would rely on the support from the British Government and the British Chamber of Commerce in attainment of these objectives.
He added that the region would ensure strong business relationships among Chambers of Commerce in Igboland and Chambers of Commerce in the United Kingdom.
“Our biggest problem today is insecurity which has escalated since Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and detained and we will continue to appeal to the Federal government to release him.
“By the time I achieve my goals, Igboland will be transformed to a modern developed part of Nigeria,” he said.