Otti says Abia will partner Israel in agriculture, tech, digital economy

The Israeli Ambassador commended the leadership quality of Governor Otti in Abia State.

Abia Governor, Alex Otti, has disclosed that the state was ready to partner with the nation of Israel to develop its economic and technological potentials, with specific reference to human capital, agriculture, digital economy and micro small and medium enterprise (MSME).

Otti made this known while receiving the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Michael Freeman, at the Government House, Umuahia, Abia capital on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

This is contained in a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, who quoted the Israeli envoy as commending the leadership quality of Otti.

Freeman noted that his visit to the South-East state is a tribute to the good work the Governor has been doing since he assumed office, particularly in the area of security.

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He commended Otti for the improved security situation in Abia, revealing how his security team assured him of his safety before visiting.

As Israelis, we’re known for many things. One of the things we’re known for is not being so easy on the security situation. So, when I received the invitation and had the conversation to come to Abia State, I went back to my Embassy, to my security team and said, I’ve been invited by the government to come to Abia State.

“I expected the answer to be, ‘You are not going to Abia State, that’s not happening’, but actually the answer came back within a couple of hours, ‘Absolutely, we clear that security wise, you can go’.

“I think, again, there’s another. I’ve been here now in Nigeria for two years, and other than being in the FCT (Abuja) and other than being in Lagos, this is my first visit outside of those two places, which again I think is a tribute to you, it’s a tribute to your work, it’s a tribute to everything that is happening here (in Abia),” the Israeli Ambassador told Otti.

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti

Freeman tells Otti Israel is ready for partnership

Freeman highlighted the similarities between his country and Nigeria, noting that the two nations have an innovative population that’s strongly determined to do better than their peers.

He said the governments of Abia and Israel could foster partnerships in the area of agriculture, using technology and innovation.

ALSO READ: Employing people to State’s civil service isn’t my priority – Governor Otti

We are blessed to have leading agriculture experts in the world and specifically in areas of cassava, rice and cocoa production.

“It takes 5,000 litres of water to grow one kilogramme of rice. It is a huge amount of water, but Israel has discovered a technology that allows you to grow one kilogramme of rice with 1,500 litres of water, and using the drip technology you can grow it anywhere,” he said.

Otti is excited about collaborating with Israel

While welcoming the idea of collaboration without hesitation, Otti thanked Freeman for the visit and accepted his invitation to visit the European country.

“I’m very pleased, very happy to receive Your Excellency, the Ambassador, today in Abia State. I’m more enamored to listen to you speak passionately about some of the things that are so, so important to us as a government and as a people.

“I’m very happy and I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that the state government will partner with you and work closely with you.

“Listening to you, you have a clear understanding of how the economy works, particularly the modern economy, and you have also done extensive research, particularly the things that are important to us in Abia,” he said.

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