The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, has lauded Ebonyi state Governor David Umahi for his developmental strides.
Symington, who led a team of US diplomats to the state on Friday, said he was impressed that the governor was putting government to work for the benefit of the people.
He said,” I was particularly honored because I had the chance to see before I got here(Government House, Abakaliki). I have gone round to see what you people in state are doing and your leadership to improve infrastructure. I had the chance to see what the people of your state are doing to improve their lives like farming. I had the chance to see your rice and it is one of the best you can find anywhere in the world.
“I had the chance to see the place where the people of the state will be working for the future, that is the new secretariat and the government lodge and specifically,these are telling me that under your administration with the support of your people, you are putting government to work for the benefit of your people.“
The envoy, according to a statement on Saturday by Umahi’s Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, also commended the governor for embarking on massive road construction to connect neighboring states.
Pointing out that the idea would lead to economic integration with Ebonyi’s neighbours, he assured the Umahi administration of Washington’s partnership especially in wooing investors to the state particularly in the areas of agriculture and solid mineral development
Symington, who said that investment opportunities were the first approach towards attracting investors to the state, noted that infrastructural development and adequate security were imperative in wooing foreign investors.
He added: “The first critical step involves upgrading the economic fortunes of the state, and also setting up opportunities in this area that would welcome businessinvestors to this state thereby making it possible for investment .
“I cannot think of any more compelling message than this and I urge the state government to abide by this because it will bring investors to the State .
The envoy urged the state government to sustain the prevailing peace and security in the state, noting that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of rancour.
Earlier , Governor Umahi had commended Symington for his visit to the state and solicited his assistance in attracting investors to the state.
Umahi described the visit as an opportunity for the state to re-invent itself economically, stating “you have seen how Ebonyi State is trying to put together the infrastructure and human development needs of the people. ”
“This visit will enable the state explore areas of partnership with the United States Government especially in the areas of Agriculture and solid minerals ,”he told the envoy.
“Agriculture is one key area we need investment. We also need investment in areas of Medicare and solid minerals. I assure you of a very healthy enviroment, ” Umahi stated.
The ambassador was in company with the US Consular General in Nigeria, Mr John Grey and other Support Staff of the Consulate Office.
Highlights of the visit of Ambassador Symington was the tour of some key projects executed by the Umahi Government and a state banquet in their honour at the Governor’s Lodge on Friday night.