South Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Kim Young-Chae, has said that Korean companies would invest in the agricultural sector of Bayelsa State and other areas of interest to boost the state’s economy.
The envoy stated this at an exhibition tagged: “Made in Bayelsa Agricultural Products: A Pre-Bayelsa Agric Summit 2021” held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.
A statement on Friday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted Mr. Young-Chae as assuring Governor Douye Diri of support to enable him realise his vision and economic blueprint for the state.
The ambassador said he was impressed with Governor Diri’s passion to engender economic prosperity through agricultural and infrastructure development of the state.
He urged the Bayelsa government to study the Korean and other East Asian markets with a view to producing crops such as cassava, rice and seedlings for export.
His words: “I will do my best to bring Korean companies to invest not only in the agriculture sector but also in ship building and manufacturing. It is a promise that we will work with Governor Diri to help transform the economy of the state.
“During my meetings with Governor Diri, I felt his energy, love and drive to bring about economic development for the state. So I thought we can help him to realise his dream for Bayelsa.
“One way you can achieve this is by carefully studying the Korean and other East Asian markets in Japan, Phillipines, Indonesia and China to know the kind of rice, cassava and seedlings like Sesame seeds that you can process for export and make huge profits.”
According to Young-Chae, “it is dangerous for Nigeria to continue to rely on imported food. Nigeria can be self-sufficient and it can feed the whole of the African continent because it has the potential and it is possible.”
While declaring the exhibition open, Governor Diri expressed the state’s readiness to create partnerships in order to attract foreign direct investments into the state.
He assured the Korean Ambassador that his visit to the state would further strengthen the relationship between Bayelsa and Korea.
He said the visit had also given him the opportunity of having first hand information and knowledge about the peaceful and hospitable nature of the people of the state.
The governor said his administration cherishes the ambassador’s passion for development of the state and expressed the optimism that all the promises he made would come to fruition.
“Bayelsa is ripe and ready to attract foreign direct investments. This collaboration would bring forth fruits for Bayelsa and South Korea.
“You are here to have first hand information and knowledge of what Bayelsa is like away from the stereotypes and issues of militancy and crime. Of course, there is no state and country that is one hundred per cent secure. Nigeria being at the centre of the Gulf of Guinea, we will work with you to tackle the security challenges.”
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief David Alagoa, noted that the Senator Diri-led administration had prioritised agriculture as one of the critical sectors to revamp the state’s economy.
Chief Alagoa, who urged Korea to be part of the state’s agricultural revolution, said a couple of activities had been planned ahead of the state’s agricultural summit in October with a view to developing an agricultural policy for the state.
In her presentation, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Patience Ranami Abah, highlighted various investment opportunities that abound in the state.
Ms Abah, who said the state was peaceful, urged Korea to invest in the Agge deep seaport project in the area of ship building, product assembly and fabrication as well as the eco-industrial park, which serves as a one-stop investment location.