By Ibrahim Shuaibu
Kano and Jigawa state governments would establish a Kano/Jigawa-Republic of Serbia Joint Commission to facilitate investment in commerce, agriculture and skills development for mutual benefit.
The move would stimulate the relationship that had existed between the two states and the South-eastern European nation for mutual socio-economic benefit.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, announced this during a banquet over the weekend at the Government House in Kano in honour of the Serbian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Djura Likar, who visited the state to meet members of the business community and attend the reunion of Yugoslavia Old Students Association of Nigeria.
“Serbians constructed big infrastructural projects like Gidan Murtala, Audu Bako Secretariat and the Kadawa Irrigation scheme which are still solid and living testimonies of our relationship.
“We, therefore, need to take further advantage of the expertise of the Serbians in technology and agriculture, to boost our economy.
“We are ready for a synergy with the Serbians. My counterpart in Jigawa State and I have agreed to visit Serbia to discuss ways in which we can work with them to enhance agriculture, which is the mainstay of our economy,” Ganduje added.
The governor maintained that Kano State has huge potentials for irrigation or lowland farming that are far under-tapped, expressing optimism that with closer cooperation with Serbians, the state would gain immense agricultural education and acquire new technologies for growth.
“We will also work together to see how our youths can acquire technical skills so that we can fill our skills gap.
We can no longer rely on our national curriculum because the way things are now, our universities are merely producing prospective jobless people with no skills,” Ganduje said.
On his part, Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, said his state would open its doors for relationship with Serbia in the area of agriculture, especially livestock production, pointing out that he’s keenly interested in promoting reproduction of small ruminants like goats, by women and youth in poor households in the state.
“Under our very successful empowerment programme, where we give out goats to poor women and widows, we want to explore how these poor people can produce milk to feed their malnourished children, and generally improve their income and standard of living,” he said.
Earlier, Likar said his country is proud to be associated with several projects in Nigeria, and particular in Kano, which are still functioning after decades of construction, urging people of the country to avail themselves of the great trade and other business opportunities in his country.
“The Republic of Serbia offers first calls products and services in agricultural machinery and other inputs, mining, information technology and lots of others and there are lots of opportunities for our business men and women to harness.
“Our doors are open for genuine businesses from Nigeria to tap into our resources for mutual benefit,” the envoy pointed out.