By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River governor, Ben Ayade has commence talks with the United Kingdom on partnership in requisite skill training and investments in a bid to raise the required capacity needed to construct an alternative economy for the state.
Ayade disclosed this in an interview at the site of the Cross River Garment and Textile factory while on inspection with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright.
The governor who earlier in his office, informed Arkwright of his administration’s projects, with the garment factory in focus, noted that the United Kingdom was renowned for its embroidery and called on the UK government to partner the state in areas of training in its bid to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
He said “The partnership with the UK is one we are going for excellent first class expertise. This is a strong partnership and we have, hopefully, strong commitments on training, technical competence, issues of machinery and we are going over for a trade show. We will have meetings for detailed discussions and the message for Africans is that Britain, finally, is all out here to start doing business.”
The High Commissioner who in a meeting with Ayade, disclosed that it was his first visit to the state, said he was in Cross River to see more of “the great state” and strengthen the relationship between both governments.
He listed the activities of the Commission in the state which he says includes the training of young entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses and create employment.
In an interview, Arkwright said he had been talking to governor Ayade about the UK helping in creating jobs, employment opportunities and growth. Pointing out that they were still “working on details”, they were talking about “practical things, talking about moving quickly, talking about training, bringing in expertise”, which he said is a sign that the UK is really engaged with Nigeria.
Also, he said “with the right kind of will matching the right expertise, we can really make a difference”, adding that, though talks are still in the preliminary stages, they are “determined to push forward a bit.”
Earlier, both exchanged gifts at the office of governor Ayade when the High Commissioner paid him a courtesy visit.
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