Wike seeks partnership with Ireland on agric, ICT, vocational education
FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike (right) welcoming the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Peter Ryan to his office at the FCTA on Tuesday.
Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun
By Philip Yatai
Mr Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has expressed keen interest in partnering with the Republic of Ireland for empowerment of youths and economic development of the capital city in the areas of agriculture, vocational education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Speaking when the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Peter Ryan, visited him in his office in Abuja on Tuesday, Wike said the partnership would grow the economy of the FCT while leveraging the strong ties between Nigeria and the Republic of Ireland if actualised.
He said the partnership with Ireland on ICT will be in line with President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s efforts to create technology jobs for the youth in actualisation of Renewed Hope Agenda.
He added that FCTA also intends to provide job opportunities for the youths in the digital economy to reduce unemployment in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.
“We think that we would be interested in partnering with companies in Ireland where we can build ICT hubs for the interest of the youths, to reduce the level of unemployment.
“Again, education is key for us, particularly vocational and skilled education, where our youths can acquire some skills in particular areas,” the minister said.
The minister also identified agriculture, with the available vast land in the FCT, as a very critical sector that could contribute to improving the economy of the federal capital.
He said that the FCT Administration would be very happy to collaborate with companies in Ireland to introduce technology-based agriculture in the FCT.
This, he said, could be achieved through leveraging the expertise in Ireland, adding that all partnerships would be for the mutual benefit of both Ireland and the FCT.
Responding, the Irish envoy informed Wike of his country’s willingness to connect FCTA to expert teams in Ireland for further discussions.
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He explained that Ireland has a cultural hub in its largest chamber of commerce – the Dublin Smart City, where different partners and businesses work closely.
According to him, the cultural footprint of Ireland is one of the reasons foreign investors are attracted to Ireland.
He assured the minister that he would connect the FCTA and its policy makers to the consortium of experts in his country.
On vocational education, the ambassador said that the head of its largest vocational education provider would be in Abuja in the second week of December and would be at the minister’s disposal for talks.
The Ambassador also acknowledged the existing opportunities for collaboration to promote indigenous technology startups in Abuja.
“A lot of the startups in Dublin are spinouts of the big technology players like Google and Meta.
“We work closely with them as indigenous startups to create jobs for young people and as you know, a lot of these people are geography neutral.
“They just want talented young people, and they want an environment where they can flourish.
“We can see the potential for it in Abuja. Maybe there is one or two little steps we could take together to demonstrate practical things”, he added. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)