Check Flow of Small Arms to Niger-Delta.
Uduaghan Tells EU
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has called on the French authorities to prevail on its colleagues at the European Union (EU) to check the inflow of small arms to the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.
The Governor, who made the call in Asaba at the weekend when the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jean Dumond paid him a courtesy visit, said such efforts will go a long way in checking violence and criminal activities in the Niger Delta region.
Besides ensuring peace and security, he noted that such move will create the enabling environment for foreign investors to invest in the region and Delta State in particular
He expressed concern at the recent security alert issued by the United States government to its citizens travelling to Europe stressing that it underscored the need for the world to come together to fight terrorism and violence.
Uduaghan invited the French government to take advantage of the investment potentials in the state and assist in the development of its infrastructure.
Governor Uduaghan listed possible areas that France could use its superior technology to assist Delta State to include, agriculture, power and energy, urban renewal, air transportation and water resources.
He acknowledged France investments in oil and gas sector of the state and appealed to French investors to take advantage of the favourable investment climate in the state to invest.
Dr. Uduaghan appealed to French airlines to utilize the Asaba International Airport to strengthen its bilateral air transport agreement with Nigeria.
The Governor commended France for its increased financial assistance in the state especially those under the European Development Fund, and promised to take advantage of the Fund to develop power supply in the State.
In his remarks, the French Ambassador said that his country contributes about two billion dollars yearly towards its investments interest in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Besides, the Ambassador said that France contributes part of the 700 million Euros the European Union gives to Nigeria yearly to ensure the success of the Amnesty programme.
Dumond promised that the French nation would continue to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Nigeria particularly as it affects the educational, cultural, security and political ties.
He commended Delta State government for making efforts towards attracting investors to the state and promised that his country would assist Delta State in the development of the agricultural sector.
The Ambassador also promised that the French government would assist in the training of teachers in French language as well as assist to the INEC in its quest to ensure credible elections in 2011.
Dumond, who said that France would partner with Nigeria to develop the tourism industry, condemned the October 1st bomb blast in Abuja saying that it was counter-productive.