The Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello, has expressed the determination of his administration to make the state a hub of industrial activities, because of its strategic location in Lokoja, the state capital.
Bello, made this known to journalists during his maiden visit to the Nigeria-Korean friendship Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology (NKFI) in Lokoja.
The institute which is a technical/vocational school, is committed wholly to the training of youths, middle and skilled man power.
It was established in Lokoja in 2010, by the South Korean government in partnership with the government of Kogi state, aimed at deepening the bond of friendship between Nigeria and South Korea.
The Principal of the Institute, Gabriel Okewu, in his address of welcome, gave a rundown of the institute, including the challenges it has experienced; one of which he identified as land disputes with the state polytechnic.
“I wish to express the profound gratitude of the management and members of staff of this institute to your Excellency for the prompt response in granting the needed fund for the take-off of the institute.
“We remain deeply grateful for the noble gesture which will go a long way in paving way for eventual commencement of academics programme in the institute.
He further stated: “We have commenced the process of registration of the institute with the corporate affairs commission and as demanded by the note.
“Hopefully and by the grace of god, we shall collect the certificate soonest for onward transmission to note the head office for scheduling of the date for the resource inspection and accreditation of the Institute.
The governor in his reply lauded the Korean government initiative leading to the establishment of the institute, while he assured the management of his readiness to take the institute seriously.
“Kogi State is set to overtake every other states in Nigeria, we are ready to take our destiny into our hands, we have the political will to ensure that this Institute works well.
“We will make judicious use of it to impact knowledge and skills into our teeming youths to better their lives and contribute meaningfully to the development of the state and Nigeria at large.” Yahaya said.
At the end of the speeches the governor and some of his cabinet members present, were taken round each department of the institute.
Furthermore, Yahaya promised to resolve the lingering land dispute, and promised to fund the institute.
“Before our second year anniversary this institute is going to be assembling vehicles here and we shall have ‘Made in Kogi’ vehicles, machines, shoes, and ‘Made in Kogi’ almost everything.”
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor, on Multilateral Donor Agencies and special projects/focal person on social investment programmes, Adoga Ibrahim, told journalists that the institute would be used as a foundation for industrialization in the state.
“Part of the initiative is to invite automobile plant companies to see how they can establish a plant In Kogi state and begin to assemble vehicles.
“Kogi state has about 100 million in the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), which you have graciously approved and given directive for the establishment of cassava processing plant at Egbeda-Ega in Ijumu local Government Area.
“We have also brought Kogi indigenes who invented cassava processing plant which you are going to see in action today, and fish-drying machine fabricated by this institute.
“We have direct talk with Korean government through their embassy and we have gotten an invitation to host them in a couple of weeks in Abuja.
“To whom much is given much is expected,” Adoga Ibrahim added.