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US Consul-General Assures On Support For Nigeria’s Economic Development

U.S Consul-General F. John Bray

The US Consul-General F. John Bray, has assured of his country’s primary goals of supporting Nigeria’s economic development.

Bray gave the assurance on Tuesday at the flag-off of a training programme for 121 Emerging Nigerian Entrepreneurs at the University of Port Harcourt by the U.S. Consulate and FSD Academy.

He said that such partnership would be through a variety of programmes and projects funded by the U.S. Department of State, Agriculture and Commerce as well as the USAID.

He said that the U.S. Department of State had decided “to commit significant resources” to enhance African youths leadership skills and bolster entrepreneurship.

“It is my hope that through programmes such as this we are able to support you as you create a peaceful and prosperous future for Nigeria,” Bray said.

According to him the trainees can acquire the skills and knowledge needed to transform their ideas to an actual business that provides a living for them, their families and others.

Bray also said that young people would remain an asset, stakeholders and creators of Nigeria’s future.

He said that the United States government is convinced that in addition to creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities, entrepreneurship contributes to political stability and a vibrant civil society.

“There is growing evidence that entrepreneurs the world over are the drivers of job growth,” he said.

In his welcoming remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale, said that the conference for emerging entrepreneurs in Nigeria was organised in collaboration with the university.

He expressed the hope that at the end of the conference participants would be in a vantage position to become quality employers of labour, Managers and Captains of industries in Nigeria.

Represented by Prof. Regina Ogali, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the institution, Lale said the university was in the process of becoming a world class entrepreneurial training institution.

He also lauded the partners for their commitment in packaging the conference which drew participants from various parts of Nigeria.

In his remarks, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, expressed delight that the second edition of the conference held in Port Harcourt after the first edition held in Lagos in March 2017.

Represented at the occasion by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Ipalibo Banigo, the governor lauded representatives of the state and federal governments, the U.S. Mission and Corporate Nigeria at the conference.

“It shows that there is another place in Nigeria other than Lagos. Port Harcourt is the treasure base of Nigeria,” she said.

According to Ipalibo the state government introduced a platform to enable young people to be self-employed.

She said: “Through the state’s Micro-Finance, the Ministry of Women Affairs, the state government had provided funds for business owners and entrepreneurs to obtain soft loan to do business.

“ The state government has been harmonising taxes and providing enabling environment for businesses to thrive in in order to stabilise economic growth.

According to her governor Wike’s administration also ensured that the high mortality rate of doing business in Rivers was drastically reduced.

Ms Darcy Zotter, the Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate-General in Lagos also attended the conference.