By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State has stressed the need for state governments to redouble their efforts in revamping agriculture as a major alternative to oil capable of reviving the nation’s economy in the face of the current recession.
Abubakar was speaking Tuesday when he received participants of 25th course of the National Defense College who were on a geo-strategic study visit to Bauchi state.
He told participants of the course with the theme “Food Security and National Development: The Role of State Governments”, that Nigeria has the capacity to feed itself and export to other nations.
The Governor while explaining that Bauchi state has large untilled land, assured that from the incoming dry season farmers in the state will through the Anchor Borrowers commence large scale rice and wheat production.
This, he said, followed the provision of N1.5 billion made available by Bauchi state government as its contribution to farmers’ equity that will settle interest charges so that farmers in the state can access about N15 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as agricultural loans.
He explained that large scale agriculture that can generate greater income for the state requires a law for public-private-partnership to take place, as government has taken a bill to the Bauchi State House of Assembly to define the parameters and land management system under which the public-private-partnership can be carried out.
Governor Abubakar revealed that Bauchi state has about eight million people with many relocating from crises-plagued neighbouring states which increased demands over infrastructure and other sources of earning a living for the unemployed.
“With dwindling prices of oil in the international market and influx of people to the State, we have no option than to embrace agriculture, solid minerals exploitation and tourism as areas of priority attention because we do need to fashion out other sources of generating funds to serve our people,” he said.
According to him, Bauchi is friendly to security agencies because of their commitments to making the state peaceful and the safest in the northeast sub-region.
Team leader of the 25th course participants at the National Defense College, Commodore Aliyu Baba Lawal said the choice of Bauchi state for the visit was informed by the emergence of the state as the “most peaceful and socially stable”, and described the governor’s election in 2015 as the “Cleanest”
Commodore Aliyu Lawal commended the Governor for being focused, saying, “Because of the good job being done in the state by the present administration when Bauchi is reassessed, it will be a model for other states to emulate.”
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.