Nyesom Wike has expressed a strong interest in forging partnerships with the State of Israel,
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has expressed a strong interest in forging partnerships with the State of Israel, focusing on agriculture and bolstering security measures in the nation’s capital.
This announcement was made during a courtesy visit by the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Freeman, to the minister’s office in Abuja on Tuesday.
Minister Wike emphasized the favorable climate in the FCT for agricultural ventures, highlighting plans to establish farms within the territory, aiming to provide gainful employment opportunities for youths.
He assured Ambassador Freeman that the FCT Administration (FCTA) would consistently facilitate a conducive environment for investors to conduct legitimate business activities within the FCT.
Regarding security concerns, Minister Wike acknowledged that like other major cities worldwide, the FCT has faced its share of challenges. However, he underscored the openness of the FCTA to partnering with Israel to enhance the security landscape.
Minister Wike stated, “Yes, we have had one or two setbacks in terms of security threats, but like you know, security issues are everywhere, and we are working very hard to see that we nip in the bud, anything that will give us any negative publicity.”
He continued, “You know all over the world, nobody can say you can have one hundred percent security, you know it’s not possible. But we will try as much as we can, anywhere we can collaborate and work together to help us reduce some level of insecurity in the city. But be assured that we are willing to work”.
Addressing recent publications listing certain embassies, high commissions, and government organizations as defaulters in ground rent payments, the minister clarified that these actions were not targeted at any specific entity. Instead, they were aimed at enhancing internally generated revenue for developmental needs in the FCT.
He explained, “We are also trying to enhance our internally generated revenue to be able to cater for the developmental needs of our people. So, it is not to embarrass any embassy or commission but rather to draw the attention that this has not been complied with.”
In response, Ambassador Freeman affirmed the Israeli embassy’s commitment to adhering to existing rules and regulations in the FCT. He also apprised the minister of an ongoing capacity-building initiative for young Nigerian entrepreneurs and innovators nationwide.
Freeman highlighted, “We have a six-month program where we take young Nigerian entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country. We bring them deliberately to Abuja because we say this is the capital, to help train them and give them mentorship from Israel and from local Nigerians, to help them to build their company, to create jobs, to create work and afterwards, we give them the opportunity for funding and finance to grow them.”