Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State has reiterated his administration’s readiness to reposition the state, especially in key sectors like health, agriculture, mining, and solid minerals.
He stated this on Friday during an interface with the officials of the American embassy, including David Frost, head of political affairs; Katharine Habour, head of economic affairs; and Victoria Ibi, a political specialist.
The governor sought the cooperation of the embassy in the areas of cultural exchanges, environment, and climate change. He also sought grants and capacity building on clean energy, insecurity, economic development, and gender issues.
Identifying poverty as the root of many conflicts, he avowed that the state’s free education programme, which encompasses free books, uniforms, teachers’ welfare, and infrastructure, would go a long way to addressing the security menace in the state.
According to him, the rationale behind the compulsory free education policy at the basic and secondary education levels is to lift the burden on parents and to take a radical approach to the problem of insecurity by attacking it at the source.
The governor also recalled the productive and friendly synergy he had with the American Consulate in Lagos in the lead-up to the Niger Delta amnesty, which returned peace to the area and also solicited cooperation on security matters.
On their part, the leadership of the embassy promised to foster closer cooperation and facilitate linkages with the American government and US companies in the areas mentioned in a mutually beneficial manner.
They suggested regional cooperation among states so that American support through USAID and similar agencies could reach a wider audience.
As part of his concerted efforts to attract foreign investment and support to bolster his administration’s desire to fast-track economic and social development, the governor had earlier reached out to the embassies of Germany, Czech Republic, China, and the European Union.