As part of measures to promote the state’s economic diversification for growth and development, the European Union (EU) has expressed readiness to partner the Nasarawa State Government in the areas of green energy and digital economy.
Samuela Isopi, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, made the promise during her maiden visit to Lafia, the state capital, where she met with Governor Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House, and discussed possible areas of partnership with the EU.
According to her, the purpose of the visit was to deepen relationships with the state and engage in a multi-dimensional partnership, which includes climate change issues, economic relations, among others.
She said: ”We will support agriculture, which is a very important sector for the economy of Nasarawa State. We will also support in the field of green energy, innovation and many other fields.
“The European Union has been active and remains active in some areas, in particular, climate smart agriculture. We will be visiting later today the site of rice production, which is funded through an EU programme to increase food production in the state and to improve food security in the state and to improve nutrition in the state.
The EU Ambassador further said that the EU runs a project to support interfaith dialogue, adding that the EU is working in a few communities to build peace among citizens of the State, especially in communities affected by the farmers/herdsmen crisis.
Respoonding, Governor Abdullahi Sule expressed gratitude to the EU Ambassador for the visit, noting that Nigeria and Nasarawa State share the same value with EU on peace and security as well as upholding the tenets of democratic process and social cohesion.
Sule said, “The State welcomes investment in oil and gas, agriculture, clean energy, and solid mineral development with a focus on lithium development. In order to address unemployment and help young people become self-reliant, the state is supporting education, skills, and vocational training.
He highlighted some of the agricultural potentials in the State where investors could take advantage to invest, saying Nasarawa is number one in sesame production in the country, with a lot of investors already showing interest in sesame processing with immense benefit to the state and the people.
“By early next year, we are going to have the first sesame seed processing company in the state,” he said.
Sule said the state is also looking at exploring the complete value-chain in yam production as well as the improvement in rice production where the State occupies the fifth position to become the one of the top three producers in the country.
He also mentioned the potentials in cassava and sugarcane production with the Dangote Sugar company coming on board, to attract investors’ interest in ethanol production for energy generation.
The governor explained that the State Government through the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA) is offering a one-stop-shop for investors where they will be provided with incentives and guided through all necessary processes that will guarantee their investment.