By; AMOS MATHEW, Kaduna.
The apex Africa continental bank, African Development Bank, (AfDB), has called on 35 Nigerian state governors to emulate the best fiscal policies and practices introduced into governance by the Kaduna State Government, assuring of continues grants to Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the bank’s Annual Economic Outlook (AEO), 2016 in Zaria, Kaduna State, Dr. Ousmane Dore, AfDB Country Director, Nigeria Country office, said they are rolling out a youth empowerment program in the 36 states of the federation this year and Kaduna state has all the requisite ingredients to be among the first sets of state to benefit.
Ousmane said the project is being targeted at youths especially graduates who are going to be trained in agriculture.
“Basically we will train them in Business arrangements so that they can put their plan together, we give them the necessary skills” he stressed.
He noted that “In Kaduna state we have 100Millon Dollar Project in collaboration with the Islamic development Bank and the CBN to deliver the water project.”
According to him: “Soon after his election, Governor El -Rufai reached out to AfDB to see what we can do beyond the Zaria water project , we also have in Kaduna state the school project, vocational training schools in two areas of Kaduna, one is on the way to Abuja for nomadic students. The project is still going on and it is a major project”.
Ousmane added that “We also hope to assist Kaduna state in the reforms program of the current administration, this is a state that we believe can show good example in the federation because of the effort put in place in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and one of the state that have introduced Treasury Single Account (TSA), and with a lot of reforms ongoing. We believe a lot of reforms are on going in the public finance side.
“This year we intend to roll out a youth empowerment program in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory and we want to start with some states, because it is not going to be a one shot program. We want to start with states that are ready and we believe Kaduna State has all the requisite to be among the first states to benefit from this 300 Million dollars program.
“The project is in partnership with the state and federal government and their counterparts is to provide land, so they get the funding and the land and they are ready to go. I can assure you that what I have seen in Kaduna is the best practices that other states can emulate.”
“We incubate them into existing farms and agriculture business and once they go through that incubation period, we then propose it and give them the funds. That has been the missing link, how do you train them and send them out without funds, you need to give them money so that they can set up the farm” Ousmane said.
On his part, Murtala Dabo, Special Adviser to the Kaduna state Governor on Economic matters, said the state has been partnering with AfDB on many projects mainly in the area of water and education.
Dabo said the launch of the AEO is a sign of the partnership and the confidence that AFDB has in the current administration in the state.