The Kogi State Government and China are expanding business relations which the state said will allow it to attain its N591 billion annual Internally Generated Revenue target in the nearest future.
The foundation for the renewed collaboration was laid during a dialogue on industry and trade between Kogi State and Chinese entrepreneurs, co-hosted by Governor Yahaya Bello and the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, at the Chinese Embassy in Abuja on Thursday.
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Addressing the entrepreneurs, Governor Bello said the Government of Kogi State was ready to engage the Chinese business community in order to expand business and investment opportunities with China.
According to him, for both countries to make progress, there is a need for the willingness, commitment, readiness and sincerity of both parties to collaborate on harnessing all the resources, both natural, human and otherwise, for the benefit of both countries and humanity in general.
Bello said: “I have that political will to continue to engage China and the Chinese, to ensure that all the benefits that are available for us, we take the full benefits of them for our people.
“There are several areas we can engage ourselves. We have the institutional framework ready to engage and we have the authority to engage and get things done as quickly as possible.”
“The people are our cardinal objective to serve. And I have given a blanket and an open approval to my people to engage the Chinese side on all fronts for the benefit of all of us.”
Earlier, Cui expressed confidence that with the cooperation between the leadership of Bello in Kogi State and the Government of China in the coming years, a lot would be achieved, particularly in the area of power plants and nuclear energy.
On how the state intends to hit the target of about N591.6 billion IGR, the Special Adviser to Kogi State Governor on Economy, Finance and Investment, Abdulkareem Siyaka, told reporters: “We are actually getting less than 10 per cent of what we should get from the resources that we have.
“N591.6 is the size of our IGR per annum if we are able to put all the building blocks together.
“So, the building blocks are what you have just seen. The Chinese today have invited us and they are willing to invest in various sectors of our economy.
“If we expose our economy to more genuine development partners, within a year, I can assure you, we will be able to hit that target of about N591.6 billion, thereby reducing unemployment in the state.”