Ekiti looks to Australia for development
Ekiti State is seeking a deeper and lasting partnership with the government of Australia on the development of the state.
The state’s deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, expressed the desire on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti when he received visiting Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, John Donnelly, on behalf of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
“I believe that our association and partnership with the government of Australia will be fruitful because your mission here is our passion and we shall give you full support to succeed.
“We are open to a partnership that will bring development and our doors are open to investment in relevant sectors.
“Ekiti is investment-friendly and we are seeking a deeper and lasting partnership with your government on issues of development,” the deputy governor said.
Mr Egbeyemi added that the state government would not relent in attracting investments and technical partnerships to accelerate the development of the state.
He told the envoy that Ekiti State had institutionalised policies and legislations to protect women against violence.
The envoy had earlier hailed Ekiti State Government for instituting policy frameworks and enabling environment that facilitated partnership and investment, saying that the Australian government would tap into it.
Mr Donnelly said part of his visit was to synergise with the state on its approach to women and children and to rub minds on the 16 days of global activism on gender-based violence.
He lauded the Ekiti State for ensuring the domestication of the Gender Violence Law which, according to him, had made Ekiti State a role model to other states in Nigeria.
Mr Donnelly added that the Australian High Commission in Nigeria was also working on women advocacy for gender equality, growth and empowerment, amongst others.
He explained that the Australian Mission in Nigeria had reached out to governors’ wives through the Nigeria Governors Wives Forum to look at projects being run for women and youth development.
The diplomat said his team was also working with the lawmaker representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Biodun Olujimi, whom he said is championing a Gender Equality Bill at the National Assembly.
While appreciating the government and people of Ekiti State for the reception accorded his team, Mr Donnelly assured of the cooperation of his home government on issues of partnership with Ekiti State.
Mr Donnelly was accompanied by his wife, Sunita and the Third Secretary in the High Commission of Australia, Annabelle Simpson.
Australia is partnering with Ekiti State on livestock breeding, ranching, marketing of agricultural produce, women empowerment and elimination of violence against women and children and promotion of gender equality.
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