The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has expressed the willingness of his administration to partner with the State of Israel on agriculture and the security of the nation’s capital.
Wike stated this when the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Freeman, paid a courtesy visit to the minister’s office in Abuja, on Tuesday.
According to Wike, the FCT had a conducive climate for agriculture, adding that the FCTA had plans to establish farms in the territory and engage youths as a means of gainful employment.
He assured the ambassador that the FCTA would continue to provide the enabling environment for investors to carry out legitimate businesses in the FCT.
On security, Wike said like other major cities in the world, the FCT had its share of security challenges but was open for partnerships with the State of Israel to improve the security situation.
Wike said, “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.
“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”.
The minister also spoke on the recent publication in the newspapers listing some embassies, high commissions and government organisations in default of ground rent payments, stressing that the government’s actions were not targeted at anybody but to improve internally generated revenue in the FCT.
He said “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 his remark, Freeman assured that the Israeli embassy was committed to complying with extant rules and regulations in the FCT, while he informed the minister of an ongoing capacity-building project for young Nigerian entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country
“We have a six-month programme 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”, he said