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July 25, 2024

Northern Govs Seek FG’s Backing on Agriculture, Development

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Inuwa Yahaya has recently paid a visit to President Bola Tinubu in Abuja to seek stronger collaboration between the federal and state governments to improve the livelihood of citizens. 

The Gombe State’s helmsman commended the government’s steps at ending the crisis in Kaduna and Plateau states. 

In his words: “Collaboration of the states and the Federal Government, in fact, including the local governments, is very key and fundamental for us, because if there is any disconnect, we may not deliver on what we must do for the people.

“There were several engagements between us towards the end of 2023 pertaining healthcare and enabling business environment reforms and many more. Without the economy picking, we will continuously be where we are or even worse off.”

Speaking on the importance of agriculture to human development and food sufficiency, the governor identified the need for farmers to embrace modern techniques in order to boost productivity.

“The way it is now, people have to understand that we must modernize. There is need for machines, there is need for processing and luckily, Gombe is among the states that have been approved to be part of the Special Agric Processing Zones.

“We have set up an industrial park where we can process all the raw materials or the agricultural produce that we have in the state. I think all states will key in and work in tandem with the Federal government. We shall easily reach the desired destination for Nigeria,” he said. 

Yahaya also lauded the President for instructing Vice President Kashim Shettima to visit Kaduna and Plateau states for first-hand information on the attacks in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State, as well Bokkos and Barikin Ladi Local Councils of Plateau State.

He added: “In my capacity as Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, I praise the steps taken by the President to get to the root of what happened in these two states and the pledge he made that the right action would be taken to prevent future occurrence. I am thanking him for the support given to victims or survivors.” 

Gombe, Yahaya stressed, was poised to maintain its appellation of Jewel in Savannah.

Also, the Niger State Governor, Abdulahi Bago, who equally met with the President, said despite the security situation in his domain, the farmers were willing to return to their farms for the dry season farming.  

His words: “You know, Niger is now the leading state in terms of the food security initiative of Mr President, and there are some initiatives we have started. We’re about to do a total of 250,000 hectares dry season farming, which we’ve already signed an agreement with some companies for off- take. and just to keep him posted with what we’re doing in agriculture.”

On development in the pact between his state and the Federal Government, he said: “If you have listened carefully to Mr President’s New Year’s speech, you will have seen the emphasis on agriculture, and also the 500,000 hectares the government is planning to farm this 2024. And Niger has also provided itself as a pilot state for that project, and that we are also ambitious to also match with the Federal Government’s 500,000 hectares.”

Regarding the President’s reaction to his farming initiative, Bago observed: “He is positive about it, he is very delighted and happy with what we’re doing, and he has given us his blessing and encouragement.”

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