With the gradual but steady improvement in the security situation of Yobe state, Governor, Mai-Mala Buni, has begun to expand the frontiers of economic transformation beyond the shores of Nigeria.
The Governor had recently visited the French embassy where he canvassed for partnership in the area of foreign investment in the state.
The Governor is very positive about the fact that Buni Yobe is blessed with abundant agricultural and mineral deposits that can turn around the economic fortunes of the state if we’ll be harnessed.
It was on that premise that the tireless governor decided to look far beyond the shores of Nigeria for a partnership that could transform the state resources into tangible wealth creation.
“Yobe state has the finest Sesame seeds, limestone deposits and soda Ash in large commercial quantities waiting to be tapped,” Governor Buni said with honest enthusiasm.
Since he assumed office as the fourth democratically elected governor of Yobe Governor Buni has remained focused and consistent in the well-articulated transformation agenda of his administration.
All that Governor Buni dreams for his dear state “is to build a strong and resilient economy that would fight poverty, insecurity and to help the people of the state recover their means of livelihood shattered by the Boko Haram insecurity.”
To achieve these noble objectives, Governor Buni, being an accomplished entrepreneur knew quite well that the government first Emplaced an enabling environment that eases the process of doing business in Yobe, especially for foreign investors.
“As we continuously record improvement in the security situation of the state, we are also building the economy to help our people and our state recover and stabilize,” he told the French investors.
Governor listed the recent completion of the Damaturu international cargo airport, modern markets and Road networks across the state as part of the enablers that would “enhance commerce, Investment and economic growth.”
The Governor urged the French ambassador, to consider partnering with Yobe state through direct Investment and joint partnership in business development and other related enterprises.
Governor Buni who also the interim Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) told officials at the French embassy that his passion for his economic transformation agenda is basically to create employment opportunities for youth.
He stressed that creating employment for the youth would significantly curb their involvement in crime and other forms of social vices.
Seeing, they say, is believing, and photos don’t lie, governor Buni went to the French embassy with a brochure showcasing the agricultural and mineral deposits abound in the state.
The French ambassador in Nigeria, Mr Pasquuer commended the Governor for making appreciable successes in the provision of infrastructure and rebuilding the state. He did not hide his admiration for Governor Buni’s unique and well-thought-out policy focus for Yobe.
“We appreciate your foresight and commitment to improve the lives of your people.
“We will talk to French investors in Nigeria and other potential investors who can invest in agriculture In Yobe state.
“The completion of the airport is good news because this will improve transportation and the economy,” he said.
Further discussions with the top French diplomat in the country focused on areas that France would partner Yobe in, including education and agriculture.
The French Ambassador also revealed that his country is willing to help with post-insurgency reconstruction of parts of the State that are worst affected by the Boko Haram Insurgency.
Mr. Jerome Pasquier also said that France would consider supporting some Yobe Indigenes to study at various French universities and institutions of higher learning.
In June 2019, when he was barely a month in office as a Governor, Mr Buni announced government plans to partner with the Kingdom of Morocco in the areas of agricultural development and youth empowerment.
The partnership also includes training youths in skills acquisition.
It could be recalled that the Governor met with a deputy head of the Morocoan mission in Abuja where they had a bilateral understanding in revamping the local industries of Yobe.
The governor was remembered to have said, “We will work towards resuscitating the fertilizer blending plant in Yobe. Agriculture is a key area of competitiveness and advantage for the state and we want to swing to action and ensure that the people benefit immensely from the partnership.”
And the Moroccan Deputy Head of Mission also assured his country’s readiness to provide skills acquisition training to youths in Yobe state in the areas of arts and crafts, fashion design, including embroidery and cloth (Kaftan and Alkyabba), ICT as well as foods and beverages, among others.”
Both discussed that at some point going forward, a technical delegation from Morocco will visit Yobe state and vice versa to make concrete all the proposals that could be implemented.
Recently, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, said the administration had given more attention to agriculture in order to diversify and strengthen the economy. The president acknowledged the bold steps taken by Governor Buni in wooing the Moroccan investors to partnering with Nigeria in the area of agriculture.
Buhari said this in Daura recently that: “We are still grateful to Morocco for the support they gave us in producing fertiliser in the country.
“We have 42 companies producing fertiliser in six Geo-Political Zones.’’
Now that Governor Buni has gone to the French investors, there are hopes that the ensuing enterprise expected from that engagement would further help the Governor in the expansion of the economic frontiers of Yobe, just like the Moroccan partnership is fast yielding dividends.
When a leader’s vision is clear, the results will appear. So far Governor Buni has kept a very positive mindset as he works his plan for Yobe, and his plans are flourishing because he has always remembered why he accepted to lead.