By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector remains central to the country’s quest for economic growth and development, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has said.
The governor said his administration will continue to explore ways to maximally exploit the sector to ensure the diversification of the sources of generating revenue for the state using the untapped agricultural sector.
Governor Sani Bello said in Bida that beyond any other sources, the agriculture sector holds the key as the corner stone for sustainable sources of generating revenue for the country and it’s citizens saying his administration will continue to encourage mass participation of citizens in agricultural activities in the state.
Governor Sani Bello stated this last Thursday when he inspected the Bida Emirate Green Farm, an initiative of the Bida emirate council. He posited that agriculture indeed is central to the development of the economy of the state and it’s people.
The governor who was led to the farm site by the Estu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, appreciated the involvement of the emirate and it’s support to regenerating interest in agriculture as mainstay for citizens.He assured that his administration will not relent in efforts at galvernising support towards ensuring that the agricultural sector receives the impetus from government to make the sector attractive and viable.
“Niger state is working towards expanding its sources of income by diversifying it’s economy and with a deliberate paradign shift away from dependence on the federal government’s subventions and other handouts by developing our natural endowment especially in the area of agriculture” he said.Governor Sani Bello noted that encouraging participation in agricultural activities, food production and other agricultural activities would bring trigger mass improvement in the economy of the state with a multiplier effects on the economy of the country as a whole.
He recalled that following sustained efforts by his administration, the state was recently rated as the largest rice producing state in the country. This he noted had given his administration good reasons to invest and focus more on the agriculture sector so that the state would continue to take the lead in the production of more staple foods particularly such food and cash crops where the state has the natural endowment to produce.
Governor Sani Bello commended the efforts of the emirate in engaging in agricultural productivity which is adding a big plus to the agricultural sector of the state.
He said the novel move would lead to increase in food security and will bring about increased job opportunities in the emirate as well as for the state.Earlier, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger Stste Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar had, while conducting the Governor round the farm, said the essence of the project was to add value to both the federal and state governments’ efforts in diversifying the nation’s economy.
The Etsu Nupe expressed optimism that the project would provide job opportunities to many in the agricultural value chain.He however called for more government’s support to ensure that the purpose for the establishment of the green farm and such related private or community enterprises were achieved.