Ex-Canadian Secretary of State and Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Mr Weiner Gerry, on Wednesday advocated for partnership between Nigeria and Canada in the areas of food security and economic sustainability.
Gerry said in a virtual engagement with members of the Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) that the two areas were key to ending irregular migration.
He spoke ahead of the body’s fourth Global Migration summit slated for Oct. 2 to Oct. 14 in Toronto, Canada.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit would be focusing on Climate Change, Human Mobility and Sustainable Investment.
Gerry, also the Executive Director, Global Relations Partnership and Customers Satisfaction, Canada Startup Visa, said that the challenges confronting human mobility in recent times could be traced to the imbalance in global economic progression.
He said that the imbalance included widening poverty net between the rich and poor countries.
Gerry added that he was willing to facilitate partnership between Nigeria and Canadian companies to conduct thorough research on the Agro food sector in Nigeria and other African countries, to understand specific challenges and opportunities and identify potential partners.
According to him, Africa has enormous potentials that could be fine-tuned to enhance the standard of living of her people.
“Canada is one of the countries with food surplus while half of Africa goes to sleep hungry every night.
“We have 10 per cent of the world’s freshwater supply but half of Africans may be drinking contaminated water. What a world without conscience,” he lamented.
He x-rayed some tough economic decisions taken by President Bola Tinubu geared towards Nigeria’s economic recovery.
He said there was a need for Canada and other top economies to back Nigeria with a structured positive economic blueprint that would impact on Africa.
According to him, if a roadmap on Agro-food production and technologies from Canada could be adopted by the Nigerian government, the project could be funded by international development organisations.
“This also includes impact investors, with grants to support the initiatives that will encourage Canadian investors to explore opportunities in Agro food startups in Africa to foster self-sufficiency.
“This is to empower local communities to independently operate and maintain the technologies especially in Nigeria.
“These will lead to collaborations with Canadian companies willing to share their technologies and expertise, facilitate knowledge exchange and technology transfer by organising workshops, webinars, and training sessions.
“This will be to ensure that the technologies being transferred are adapted to suit the local agricultural and environmental conditions in Nigeria and in many African nations,” he said.
NAN reports that the JIFORM is an international media network founded in 2019 with over 300 journalists and other volunteers focusing on issues of migration across continents.
The fourth JIFORM summit would be hosted by Abedorc Productions, Toronto.