The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will partner with the State of Israel to promote security, youth empowerment, and job creation in the FCT.
Minster of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike made this disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday when the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Freeman, paid him a courtesy visit.
The Minister who stated that the FCT has a very conducive climate for agriculture, added that the FCT Administration also has plans to establish large farms where Nigerian youths will be engaged in agriculture and be gainfully employed.
The Minister, in a statement by the Director of Press, Office of the Honourable Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, assured the Ambassador that the FCTA will continue to provide the enabling environment for investors to carry out legitimate businesses in the FCT.
Speaking on security, Barrister Wike admitted that like other major cities in the world, the FCT had its share of security challenges but was open to partnerships with the State of Israel to improve the security situation in the FCT.
“Yes, we have had one or two setbacks in terms of security threats but like you know, security issues are everywhere and we are working very hard to see that we nip in the bud anything that will give us any negative publicity.
“You know all over the world, nobody can say you can have one hundred percent security, you know it’s not possible. But we will try as much as we can, anywhere we can collaborate and work together to help us reduce some level of insecurity in the city. But be assured that we are willing to work”.
The Minister also spoke on the recent publication in the newspapers listing some Embassies, High Commissions, and government organisations in default of ground rent payments stressing that the government’s actions were not targeted at anybody but to improve internally generated revenue in the FCT.
The Minister who noted that the ground rent in the FCT had accumulated over the years due to non-payment, called on the affected institutions to comply with the extant rules of the FCT to avoid negative consequences.
“So, we think that you don’t need to be embarrassed but let’s work together. Every mission obeys the laws of where they are.
“We are also trying to enhance our internally generated revenue to be able to cater for the developmental needs of our people. So, it is not to embarrass any Embassy or Commission but rather to draw the attention that this has not been complied with”.
In his remark, the Israeli envoy assured that the Embassy is committed to complying with extant rules and regulations in the FCT.
The Ambassador informed the Minister about an ongoing capacity-building project for young Nigerian entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country and invited the Minister to pay a visit for further discussions.
He said the programme is designed to attract young Nigerian entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country to the FCT to train them and provide mentorship from Israel to help them build their companies and create jobs
“We have a six-month programme where we take young Nigerian entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country. We bring them deliberately to Abuja because we say this is the capital to help train them and give them the mentorship from Israel and from local Nigerians to help them build their company, to create jobs, to create work, and afterward, we give them the opportunity for funding and finance to then grow.
Also at the event were the Permanent Secretary FCTA, Mr. Olusade Adesola, Secretary of Economic Planning, Revenue Generation, and PPP, and other senior officials of the FCTA.