A WEEK OF PARLIAMENTARY DIPLOMATIC ASSIGNMENT AND OTHER TRIVIA IN SPAIN.
A member of the House of Representatives representing Afikpo North/ Afikpo South of Ebonyi State Hon. Igariwey Enwo Idu joins other members of the House of Representatives, led by the Chairman of the Nigeria- Spain Friendship Group, Hon Shina Peller, to undertake an official trip to Spain. The trip was basically intended to improve and deepen the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Spain, particularly in the areas of commerce, politics, sports, etc.
Having secured accommodation at Hotel Eurostars Madrid Tower, the summit started on Day 1 with a meeting with the Spanish parliament ( Congress of Deputies as they are called). A lot of interactions and exchanges took place. The aim was to aid a better understanding of the positions of both countries on a wide range of issues.
The representatives proceeded on a train trip to Valencia on the 1st of July, for a meeting with the officials of the Valencia Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Competitiveness. Again, the representatives discussed a wide range of issues involving trade, aviation, technology, etc.
In Valencia, Hon. Iduma Igariwey and his team also met with officials of Laberit Company, an IT firm with a presence in Nigeria.
Back in Madrid, on the 4th of July, he visited the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he met with their Director of African affairs. The Director, a former Spanish ambassador to Ghana, turned out to be a highly knowledgeable woman with a keen interest in deepening the relationship between Spain and Nigeria.
A VISIT TO ALMERIA
Hon. Igariwey spent the 5th and 6th of July in Almeria. Recall, that Almeria is a city in the south East of Spain. It is described as the vegetable garden of Europe. More so, every corner of this quiet and peaceful city is covered with greenhouse vegetable tents.
Almeria boasts of Europe’s only desert. Indeed, the city is described as the driest place in Europe with an annual rainfall of just 200mm.
Hon. Igariwey while describing the City in his own words said
arguably, Almeria has the most rugged landscape I have ever seen in my life. On our trip from Almeria Airport to a town called Macael, our host Mr. Jose informed us that many of Hollywood’s classic movies, most famously the Sergio Leone Westerns starring Clint Eastwood, were shot in Almeria’s Tabernas desert.
He observed that in spite of Almeria’s dryness, rugged terrain, breathtaking mountains, and dunes, there is a thriving industry in Mining and Agriculture. Going further, he recounts his experiences as follows
I was taken to a lot of quarries and industries that add value to the raw material. I visited a goat farm and saw firsthand how goat rearing could thrive profitably for both meat and the cheese industry.
Hon. Igariwey revealed that much of his experiences in Almeria reminded him of his constituency. He made reference to the stone deposits in much of Ehugbo. He recalled also, the beautiful rugged landscape of upper Edda and wished that all those resources will one day be tapped for the good of the citizens.
While in Almeria, the honorable shared pictures of some of the beautiful sights of their wonderful environment. Among the beautiful sights was the cave house dug deep beneath a mountain. Interestingly, they made the cave house their home for the two days they spent in Macael.
Lastly, the trip coincided with the four-day NATO summit in Spain. Heavy security descended on the city of Madrid, made worse by the fact that some of the visiting heads of state such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson were lodged in the same hotel as our good selves. However, he stated that he had a hard time with all the security details guiding their bosses.
Hon. Iduma Igariwey is a man who is reputed for keeping relationships. While in Spain, he met with his good friend Berkeley. Surprisingly, Mr. Berkeley’s diplomatic work covers Switzerland and Spain. All work without play makes Jack a dull boy. The climax of the official visit was a dinner with Berkeley in Eurostars Madrid Tower. The dinner was indeed the unforgettable high point of the trip.