Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday expressed the willingness of the state to partner with the French government in educational advancement.
Ikpeazu made this known when the French ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jerome Pasquier, paid the governor a visit in Umuobiakwa in Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA).
He described education as the starting point of every aspect of the economy as well as the achievement of industrial advancement, especially in agricultural development and manufacturing.
The governor said that Abia government was making efforts to create a platform that would leverage on the cheap labour available to boost manufacturing and increase export of locally-made products.
According to him, the state government has evolved an educational development plan that is focus on technical education.
He said that the government was desirous to have institutions that would produce highly skilled manpower and be effective contributors in its manufacturing industry.
“We want to build a youth ecosystem where people in need of skilled and certified manpower can go to.
“We need the prerequisite curriculum and training capacity to produce the kind of manpower that is needed.
“We hope you can create an avenue for Abia to explore in your programmes for Africa and Nigeria,” the governor said.
He expressed the government’s commitment to attracting foreign direct investment to Abia, and pledged its full involvement and support in ensuring that the investments thrive.
Earlier, Pasquier described education as top priority in the achievement of socioeconomic development.
He said that the French government was ready to partner with the state government in the area of education.
“We have several projects for your state and very soon you will receive a delegation for the commencement of these projects in the field of agriculture.
“We also have possibilities of working with you in education, because education is important.
“We need to have more French presence in Abia as the French government is very keen to enter into partnership with the government,” Pasquier added. (NAN)