French Ambassador to Nigeria Jarome Pasquire has expressed readiness of the francophone nation to strengthen its ties with Kwara State especially in the area of agriculture, cultural exchanges, trade relations, and tourism development.
“We visited the economic side, cultural side, training, agriculture and we have been able to see how many projects Your Excellency has done in the last two years. What I can assure you as a representative of France is that we are willing to work with Nigeria and Kwara State,” Pasquire said Tuesday night in Ilorin at the state gala dinner organised by the state government in his honour and in commemoration of the second anniversary of the AbdulRazaq administration.
“We know that we have many friends of France in Nigeria. I can also assure you that there are many friends of Nigeria in France. So, we can develop more cooperations and I believe Kwara can have a prominent place in the cooperation between France and Nigeria.”
The dinner was preceded by the ambassador’s visit to some projects of the state government and federal government’s institutes.
Pasquire said the visit was to strengthen the existing cooperation between France and Kwara State for mutual benefits.
“We are here to develop further cooperation between France and Kwara State as we already have Alliance française in Ilorin for teaching French language. It is important we have that in Kwara State which shares border with French speaking country, the Republic of Benin,” he said.
“We are going to refurbish a market in the state and looking for other possible areas of cooperation. We can push for more economic cooperation. We are ready for more cooperation with the state.
“We have had a busy schedule. We visited the BUA Sugar Company in Lafiagi (Edu local government). We also visited Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI). We also visited Alapa and saw the project going on there. We also visited the innovation hub, the visual art centre, and Esie Museum.”
Governor AbdulRazaq, for his part, called on the French government and private companies to take advantage of peaceful and business friendly environment in the state to invest for mutual benefits.
“Kwara is open for business and we invite French companies to come invest here. Kwara is peaceful, our climate is serene, business friendly, and our people are accommodating, skilled, and honest”, AbdulRazaq told the visiting France representatives at the dinner attended by crème de la creme in the state.
For her part, the wife of Kwara State Governor Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq implored Ambassador Pasquire to explore several opportunities in the state’s viable agricultural and other sectors.
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