Gov. Ayade Plays Host to Bangladesh, Belize High Commissioners in Calabar

Set to Partner Bangladesh on Garment Production, Others

By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News

CALABAR: The Cross River state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, on Monday, played host to the Bangladesh High Commissioner, Md. Shameem Ahsan and the Belize Consul General, Amb. Ifeanyi Ifedi in Calabar.

Recall that the two ambassadors were in the state for the flag off of the Carnival Calabar dry run, the first in the series of three before the main Carnival Calabar 2019.

The Governor who expressed excitement to receive them in his official residence, said that the carnival has come a long way, and has taken an established root beyond the nexus of pleasure, to a story deeper, using dance and procession.

He revealed that his conversations with the Bangladesh High Commissioner has extended beyond the carnival and is now finding its root in the industrialization dream of cross River state, adding that  indeed Bangladesh remains an exciting example. 

According to him, “Because of this your visit, we are prepared with my team to visit Bangladesh. The idea is to sit with you to discuss the Cross River garment factory. 

“From carnival now to business, and that’s the whole idea. For me as a business man, I am looking at the Economics of the carnival. I am happy that Bangladesh remains an example for Nigeria in particular and by the time we go to Bangladesh and back, we will be signing off a very big contract with Bangladesh to work with us and take advantage of the African growth opportunity and partner with us for the export of garment from Cross River state to America”. 

He further stated that with a growth of 7.86 percent in 2018, Bangladesh remains a very good example for Nigeria to follow, stating also, that he will love to see how a small country of that nature is doing 22,000 megawatts of electricity when Nigeria is still struggling with 7,000. 

“We are coming to learn, partner and to create mutual understanding between the two cultures. My pictures and concept of Bangladesh will change entirely with my visit and so, Africans will see that we don’t have to always do business with the West. 

“Let this be an example to other Ambassadors. They are not supposed to sit in their Embassies and allow their tenure to run to waste. You are indeed a practical ambassador going round your country of base to attract businesses and opportunities. 

“By your visit, Bangladesh is taking over the business from India, you have my 100 percent assurance that Bangladesh will take that business,” he remarked.

Furthermore, he stated that the Belize ambassador has almost become an indigene of the state, due to his presence at previous Carnival Calabar.

“Indeed, for these three years you’ve brought in your team from America, Toronto, Belize and Dominican Republic, I thank you for the contribution and for giving impetus to the carnival Calabar”, he said.

Pro. Ayade noted also, that he intends to take the carnival to a level where humanity will be the order of  discussion, saying that people have become too busy chasing money and wealth and have forgotten the real things that makes them humans. 

“God made us to add value to humanity. The visit of the Bangladesh and Belize high Commissioners have brought a lot of values across the globe. To South Asia, and South America, extremes of the world, coming together for the instrumentality of culture”, he ended.

Earlier, the Bangladesh High Commissioner, Md. Shameem Ahsan, stated that culture can be a very effective tool to connect other nations, nationalities and communities, as the present era is one where people cannot think or act in isolation with the rest of the world. 

He pointed out that although Carnival Calabar initiative may have come from the leadership of the governor, it is now a global platform which encourages other nationalities to showcase their culture. 

In his words, “I looked forward to attending the main carnival in December and I hope our government will send the cultural troupes, we will put a store in the cultural village just to showcase my country and cultural heritage.

“I was so impressed and touched by the colours, diversity, cultural beauty and the performance. You are the leader and when the leader not only leads but is passionate about what is being done, then others will follow”. 

He also pointed out that Bangladesh is a role model which grew by 7.86% in 2018, and is the second largest producer of garment in the world after China, adding that the country has crossed 22,000 megawatts of electricity production despite its size.

“Both Nigeria and Bangladesh can benefit by sharing our best practices. We should know each other, when you talk about doing business, engaging for a mutual beneficial relationship, you will agree that we should know each other and the carnival is a product that will create greater understanding between two countries. We hope to continue our relations in the interest of both countries”, he noted.

For his part,  the Belize Consul General, Amb. Ifeanyi Ifedi, noted that the Governor has made a lot of changes and impact to them, adding that part of the process of diplomacy is not necessarily the exchange of money, but cultural diplomacy is extremely important. 

In his words, “The people I have brought have expressed a lot of appreciation of understanding what it means to be in a different environment. Over 50 people want to come from Belize for the Carnival, as well as the Prime Minister. 

“For me, the essence of the cultural diplomacy is extremely important because you have a level of understanding, the passion and compassion are the values that makes everything what they are”, he ended.

The Ambassadors also took out time to visit the state garment factory. Other places they visited in the course of their stay includes, the Drill Ranch and Slave History Museum.

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