The Herald (Harare)

19 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Nigerian Envoy Hails Zim-Asset

Zimbabwe is on its way to economic greatness and the successful implementation of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) will see the country regaining its former glory, outgoing Nigerian envoy Mr Mamman Nuhu has said.

Speaking after bidding farewell to Vice President Joice Mujuru at her Munhumutapa offices in Harare yesterday, Mr Nuhu said Zimbabwe was "undersold", with Western media giving a false impression of the country to outsiders.

"The people who do not know what is going on have all sorts of perceptions," he said. "I want to tell you that anyone who visits will be surprised right from the airport because the situation in the country is very different from the image that is being painted from outside."

Ambassador Nuhu described the economic future of the country as "prodigious", saying Zimbabwe had the natural resources to turn around its fortunes.

"The future is great and there are few countries that have the kind of potential that Zimbabwe has," he said.

"Everything is available here, except oil. Develop all other sectors and then import oil from other places.

"We believe with Zim-Asset, the country is on the right track to economic recovery and greatness.

"Apart from natural resources, the human resource is in abundance. Soon the economy will be turned around."

Ambassador Nuhu, who leaves Zimbabwe next week and is now on retirement, said he enjoyed his tour of duty in Zimbabwe.

"I decided to come and say goodbye to the Vice President because I have enjoyed working in Zimbabwe," he said. "I have had cordial relations, full co-operation from the people and Government of Zimbabwe.

"I have to express my happiness and desire that such co-operation be extended to my successor.

"The country has the best weather in the world and the people are hospitable. It is the best place to be. There is no better place to retire than in Zimbabwe. I am retiring a much fulfilled person in terms of everything."

Ambassador Nuhu said the high literacy rate Zimbabwe has had seen local experts dominating in many countries around the world.

"We have a lot of Zimbabwean experts working in various fields in Nigeria," he said. "Others are on their own, but most are working in managerial roles for South African companies operating in Nigeria and they are doing an excellent job.

"Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa, which is very important and that is why their experts are everywhere, including Nigeria."

Ambassador Nuhu said he briefed VP Mujuru on Boko Haram, an armed group which is terrorising civilians in his country.

"She (VP Mujuru) expressed the sympathy of the Government of Zimbabwe and I explained to her how far we have gone," he said. "A number of significant arrests have been made and we are making headway.

"We now have full co-operation of neighbouring countries, which was not the case, and on the other side of the borders we have amassed troops such that we are now in a position to corner the terrorists. Very soon the issue will be sorted out."

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