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Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello’s urban and infrastructural development policy got a boost on Friday as South Korea pledged to partner with the state for the construction of Suleja smart city.

The Asian country also pledged to collaborate with the state in the area of developing metro-rail system, solar power farms in each of the 25 local government area of the state and development of strategic roads and linkages in Agriculture areas and capacity building.

South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Major General Lee In Tae (rtd) disclosed his country’s readiness to support the actualization of Suleja Smart City when he hosted Governor Sani-Bello and top government functionaries at the Korean Embassy in Abuja.

The envoy who held a close door meeting with the Governor and his entourage pledged that the embassy will link up with South Korean companies and investors to support the project and to get the city to become a reality.

“Many South Korean companies and investors will be interested in the project and we are ready to reach out to them and ensure that the project goes beyond the drawing level by seeing it to its logical conclusion.

“Aside from this project, we have also identified some areas we can collaborate with the government and people of Niger State. We are happy your Excellency, the governor is here today, we are prepared to work with your state to actualize your developmental programmes and plans,” the envoy assured.

Governor Sani-Bello said his visit to the embassy was a consolidation of past meetings and visits by officials of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on some infrastructural development and to further perfect the works on the proposed Suleja Smart City.

The Governor who disclosed that the discussion on the establishment of the Suleja Smart City has been on the front burner, noted that the visit was a follow up to past visitations and discussion between state government officials and Korean partners.

“For sometimes now we have been having discussions with some South Korean partners with regards to the Suleja Smart City and they have indicated interest to partner with us towards the achievement of the development of the project. Our visit today is to consolidate what has been going on”.
Governor Sani-Bello was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Hon Mikhail Almin Bmitosahi, Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, Commissioner for Transport overseeing Ministry of Commerce and Investment, Engr Panti and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Dr Abdullahi Imam.

Also on the Governor’s delegation were Former Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Territory, Engr Engr Sani Alhassan, Project Manager, Urban and Regional planning, Professor Mustapha Zubairu, Federal University of Technology,FUT, Minna, Chairman Suleja Local Government, Hon Abdullahi Maje, Director General, Suleja, New City, Alhaji Dattijjo Santuraki and Director, Land Transport, Ministry of Transport.

The visit of Governor Sani-Bello to the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria is a climax of more than one year of visits by Niger State Government officials to South Korea and series of consultations on the eight development projects Niger State Government is seeking to partner with Korean public and private sectors to develop in all parts of Niger State.

Specifically, the Smart City project in Suleja has three components. First, to plan and construct a Smart City for about 100,000 people. Second, to establish an Assembly plant for renewable energy systems and components such as solar panels, solar refrigerators, fans, Smart and Micro Grids; and to establish an Institute of Technology to train our Youth in the repair, marketing and manfacture of renewable energy and energy efficient systems and components.

Other Elements of the Smart City are: Advanced Meter Infrastructure; Smart Street Lights; Smart Houses; and facilities to operate Electric and Autonomous vehicles.

The feasibility Study and the preparation of the Master Plan for the project is about to start in partnership with a Korean enterprises.

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