June 21, 2009

USA to partner with Ebonyi on Agriculture, Health

By Dennis Agbo

ABAKALIKI-THE United States of America has stated its intention to partner with the Ebonyi state government in developmental strides especially in the areas of agriculture and heathcare provision.

United States Ambassador to Nigeria Ms. Robin Sanders in Abakaliki stated that the US would particularly be partnering with the Ebonyi government in areas such as rice production and other agricultural programmes.  She added that healthcare delivery also forms another interest of   America in Ebonyi state.

To achieve these, the US would would through her agencies like USAID, and other agencies as  UNFPA, and UNDP provide quality health care and deliver abundant agricultural inputs in the state.

Sanders stated that her country had since mapped out over 25 million dollars to be assessed by the states as aids in the development of health and agriculture in Nigeria.

She commended Ebonyi state for the cordial relationship with the various US partnering agencies in the state .

Governor Martin Elechi appreciated the US support and partnership in Ebonyi especially in the area of health delivery executed through her agencies.

Elechi said he cherished the love and relationship between his state and USA, stating that US has contributed to his academic development when through USAID he enjoyed scholarship in the early 60s.

Elechi urged the US to support Nigeria in the areas of security, stressing that Ebonyi need manpower development, health, education, and infrastructure as well as in agriculture development. The governor noted that despite the oil exploration in the country, the basic economy of Nigeria was agriculture, which the state has made a priority and would be the food basket of the nation in no distant time.