Akpabio said this on Saturday in Uyo during a gala night organised by the Akwa Ibom government in honour of the Consul-General of French Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Francois Sastourne.
The governor noted that although TotalFina Elf, a French oil company, was drilling 75 per cent of crude oil from Akwa Ibom, it had no office in the state.
“I will start to report that they don’t have an office in Akwa Ibom. So, you may wish to discuss with them that to whom much is given, much is expected.
“We look forward to working with a lot of French companies,” Akpabio said.
He also requested the Consul-General to support the free and compulsory education policy of the state government.
“We have declared free and compulsory education for basic education of our children.
“We have over 1.7 million children in just primary and secondary schools alone in a population that is less than five million.
“The facilities are over-stretched, we have built thousands of classroom blocks but we don’t have enough teachers to go round all.
“We need assistance in any way you can help us,” Akpabio said. He said that the state government had the best e-library in Africa and needed to take the facility to all the nooks and crannies of the state.
“We must ensure that every school, every community is linked so that our children can become ICT compliant.
“That is the only way we can produce children who will be employable in the modern society,” Akpabio said.
The governor also requested cooperation with the French government in the areas of healthcare delivery, agriculture and aviation. Responding, the Consul-General expressed the readiness of the French Government to cooperate with Akwa Ibom government in education.
“Education is the key to the future, the key to development not only economic development but human development.
“So, we will try to improve the development of French language in the state,” Sastourne said. He said that any French company wishing to invest in Akwa Ibom would do justice in the direction of financing education. ”We will also endeavour to have development exchanges between university from here and France, not only in the French language but in other fields like human science, Political Science and Engineering.”