The French government has expressed its desire to collaborate with the government of Edo State by investing in the state.
This was as the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer visited the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki at the Edo State Government House in Benin on Thursday.
On the purpose of the visit, the ambassador said, “We are in Edo State to see what areas we can collaborate or do more in bi-lateral relationship. I have done financing of development projects in many parts of Nigeria, but we have not been present in the state. French Development Agency has provided more than one billion Euros in soft loan to finance projects in Nigeria, especially in the electricity sector. We are hoping to be here”.
Gauer, speaking after a tour of the Lady Mechanic workshop in the Government House, expressed delight in the success recorded by the governor’s administration so far, and for creating an enabling environment for women to thrive.
He said, “I am pleased with what I saw here today. I am very impressed; ladies are doing a man’s job. This activity is to show to women that mechanic activities are a positive one as it puts food on their tables and earns them a living”.
Responding, Governor Obaseki appreciated the agency’s investment in Traffic management, Transportation, Electricity, SMEs etc. revealing that his administration was ready to collaborate with the French Government through the French Development Agency.
He noted that both parties had exchanged views and contact and that in the next few weeks, his administration would be in contact with the agencies, while he hoped that the contact would yield positive results.
Meanwhile, he addressed the issue of human trafficking, saying that his administration was doing all in its power to discourage the phenomenon.
“As a government we have identified key areas of challenges. We are focusing on education, strengthening the educational system in the area where people are more prone to issues of trafficking”, he said.
He continued that his administration has created opportunities to discourage people from travelling abroad in search of greener pastures, assuring them that they could make as much money at home as possible.
He said, “The lady mechanic initiative is an example of the opportunities created by the state government to earn a living for themselves and their families. You can see the workshop yourselves, women work here as mechanic and are well paid and fully engaged”.