Edo, Namibia ,Investment opportunities, Livestock farming and technology, Godwin Obaseki, Humphrey Geiseb,
By Jethro Ibileke
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has called for increased collaboration between the state and the Namibian Government to drive economic growth and reap other economic benefits that lie in increased bilateral trade relations between the national and sub-national governments.
The governor made the call on Wednesday when he played host to the Namibia Ambassador to Nigeria, Humphrey Geiseb, and his wife, Lena, who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He disclosed that the state has initiated talks with the Namibian government to explore trade and investment opportunities in livestock production, technology, and management services, among others between the Country and Edo State.
Obaseki said, “We appreciate you for taking the time to meet with us on a government-to-government basis and explore opportunities available in terms of economy and other forms of cooperation. We have had a cordial relationship with your country in terms of the struggle for independence to date.
“We appreciate the fact that we are extending the relationship beyond national to sub-national relationships. Businesses and citizens live in the States and I am not surprised that many countries like yours and diplomats like you go into countries to see how to do business together, taking advantage of the bilateral agreement and other agreements already established by the two countries.”
The governor further noted, “Namibia has a strong economy and has challenges like any other African country but has established global competitiveness in other areas and that is where we would like to collaborate with you.
“We believe opportunities exist in terms of services and I don’t see why we can’t work with some of your professional services firms in the areas of technology, and management services, among others.
“Most importantly, we admire the way you run your livestock industry in Namibia and it is one area, as a state, that we would be exploring opportunities to see how we can collaborate and cooperate to help us stem the protein shortfall in our Country.”
He added, “We would be counting on your support to see how you can partner with us with high-value agricultural regions in Namibia to enable us to establish working relationships with those regions to see how we begin to boost investment and trade.
“We believe this is the first of many visits, and we would take time out to come and see you in Abuja and commence further conversation on these areas of cooperation.”
In his response, Geiseb said the visit was to explore areas of investment in Edo State, adding, “Our cooperation between Nigeria and Namibia is very good as Nigeria has supported Namibia during its struggle for independence.
“Today, Namibia and Nigeria maintain a cordial relationship and continue to ensure strong cooperation in various areas and this year or next year, we will host the 5th session of the Nigeria-Namibia Joint Commission of Cooperation to discuss cooperation in various areas.”
He further noted, “Our visit today is aimed at strengthening the relationship between Edo State and Namibia and sharing free ideas where opportunities exist.
“Edo State has a lot of opportunities that Namibia business people could tap into and through that, we are hoping we can come to participate in the Benin Trade Expo taking place this year or next year. This will give us the opportunity to showcase Namibia’s products and also observe products produced in Edo State.
“There are many opportunities for cooperation and bilateral trade in various areas as the governor has expressed the readiness of the State to work with Namibia in the areas of animal husbandry as we work to produce quality beef and export same to the rest of the world.”