Wike Receives British High Commissioner, Says FCT Is Prioritizing Security, Agriculture, Job Creation

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1. Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has stressed that security, agriculture and job creation are among the top priorities of the FCT Administration.

2. The FCT Minister made this statement when he received a delegation from the British High Commission in Nigeria led by the British High Commissioner, Dr. Richard Montgomery on a courtesy visit to the FCT Administration on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

3. The British High Commissioner had sought to understand the priorities of the FCT Administration for the Development of the FCT, in order to improve bilateral relations.

4. Barr. Wike, in his response, said the creation of jobs, especially in the agricultural sector is being prioritized to ensure that the teeming youth in the FCT are provided a source of livelihood, adding that the FCT Administration, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has also provided the necessary support to the security agencies to address the security challenges in the FCT.

5. He said the ongoing provision of infrastructure in the Abuja city centre and the Area Councils, apart from accelerating the development of the FCT, are also avenues for job creation for the youths who would be engaged during the course of the projects.

6. According to the Minister, “When you say priority, creation of job is key. If you are not able to create jobs, of course, you know what that will mean for the teeming youths. So, we believe that creation of job is not only where there is white collar job. By these activities going on, so many of the youths are employed.

7. “If you go to the Area Councils today, there are lots of jobs going on and that have created opportunities for the youths to be employed. So, creation of jobs is priority for this administration”.

8. Stressing that the FCT has vast arable lands for agriculture, the FCT Minister also expressed the readiness of the FCT Administration to collaborate with investors in the agricultural sector to create employment for the youths and promote food security.

9. “We have to remove the youths from the streets. So, we believe that in partnering with investors in the area of agriculture, that will also create jobs. So, that in fact to us is a major priority. We will be interested if we can see partners in these areas”, the Minister stressed.

10.Barrister Wike also added that the FCT is open to investments and collaborations in the tourism sector to make the city a major tourist attraction.

11.Speaking further on the security challenges in the FCT, the Minister stated that remarkable improvements have been achieved in the last few months due to the level of support and commitment of the security agencies.

12.The FCT Minister who blamed the heightened insecurity in the FCT in the recent past on the activities of kidnappers and bandits from the states sharing borders with the FCT, noted that the security agencies have done quite well to tame the activities of the bandits and other criminal elements.

13.He expressed confidence that the improved security in the FCT will also increase investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital.

14.“We cannot say that we have been able to solve all the problems, but it is important to know that we are making progress, particularly on the issue of security, which has been a source of concern, not only to residents but the diplomatic community”, Wike said.

15.The FCT Minister while also acknowledging the longstanding relationship between Nigeria and the British government which he said has been growing stronger, thanked the British High Commission for providing technical support towards the establishment of the Abuja Technology Park.

16.Speaking earlier, the British High Commissioner said the courtesy visit by the delegation was critical to the operations of the diplomatic corps and the community in the FCT as well as the British High Commission. He said the delegation was also interested learning the views of the FCT Minister and understanding his priorities for the development of the FCT.

17.Giving an update on the UK/Nigeria bilateral relations, the High Commissioner said the UK’s diplomatic presence in Nigeria has been expanding in recent times due to the importance of its partnership with Nigeria.

18. Dr. Montgomery, while speaking on the importance of agriculture and job creation, said, “I absolutely agree with you about the job focus and agricultural focus and I’m pleased to say that we do actually have a programme working on agriculture to improve value chains so that farmers can sell their produce to people that can process and therefore trade more easily. That’s something which we hope is getting off the ground now to help the agricultural sector”.

19.On the effects of the economic reforms in the country, Dr. Montgomery said the British Government recognizes that the long-term prosperity of Nigeria will come from the tough reforms that the government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is putting in place, adding that the reforms will also put Nigeria onto a higher growth path, by creating more jobs and better livelihoods in the future.



20.“So, we are very positive about the importance of the reforms that are being made”, he said.


21.Also present during the visit was the Secretary, Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and PPP, Hon. Chinedu Elechi, General Counsel, Barr. Salman Dako, SSA, Legal and Multilateral Cooperation, Barr. Benedict Dauda, SSA, Lands, Urban and Regional Planning, Sir Micheal Chinda, Director Land Administration, Tpl. Adamu Hussain Jibrin, Head, Political, British High Commission in Nigeria, Ms Aneesah Islam and the Deputy Director Corporate Services of the High Commission, Mr. Edward Nyong.

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