IMPACT INVESTING FOR ADVANCING AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY & INNOVATION ……PART 1

COMMENTARY…..

Impact Investing for Advancing Agricultural Economy & Innovation is initiated to showcase the competitiveness of Niger State in specific areas that enhance decision making for investments, the Honorable Commissioner Niger State Ministry of Commerce, Investment and Cooperatives, Hajiya Ramatu Mohammed Yar ‘adua confirmed

She said in a bid to improve the business environment and economic activities of Niger State the government most explored the partnership of investors to restart or expand economic activities in existing production facilities to launch a new investment.

Hajiya Ramatu Mohammed Yar ‘adua stated that Niger with a land mass of 76,363km it undoubtedly the largest in Nigeria and can be transform as a destination for local and foreign investors. She said the state had distinct dry and wet seasons with annual rain fall varying from 1,100mm in the northern parts of the state to 1,600mm in the southern parts.

The Honorable Commissioner for Commerce, Investment and Cooperatives said the state is endowed with alluvial Gold deposits which are sufficient for big and large scale industrial mining, the Commissioner stated that Niger state government organized the summit with a view to showcase the state strength and it’s prowess, she however stressed that the Agricultural economy cannot be carried out without the inclusion of Niger State, she added that the state is repositioned to pilot Nigeria’s Agricultural production.

His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar highlighted that the economic summits in Nigeria is a sign of good things to come which he indicated the Kaduna and Kano economic summits as a model but cautioned that the implementation is the “IMPACT” to the masses.

The Sultan called for the devolution of ECONOMIC power to the states and local governments as the only option to the agitations for Restructuring, he said if economic powers are devolved to the federating units the people will have nothing to complain about.

His Eminence further affirmed that Nigeria is rich in natural resources and stated that if economic opportunities are explore in states and local governments through the provision of good roads and infrastructures the country will be politically stable.

Similarly the chairman Niger State Traditional Council, His Royal Highness Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, reiterated government commitment in alleviating the suffering of the masses through the provision of affordable fertilizer for Agric production, he commended the initiative of the government for stabilizing the prices of commodities.

The Banking Sector (Aso Savings, UBA, First Bank, CBN and Wema Bank) reaffirmed their effort in revamping the agric economy in the state; they highlighted the contribution of the banking sector in the privatization of the power sector to improve electricity in the country, they stated that the anchor borrower scheme of the Bank of Industry and Central Bank of Nigeria is to encouraged Agric Farmer in the state to greatly improve their production and seedling capacity in the state.

The Bankers said their sector had played a very critical role and had intervened towards “ADVANCING AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY” in the country and Niger state in particular, the banking sector ascertained that their “INNOVATION” to Agricultural Economy has change the food value chain thereby providing business and profits to the farmers.

The Power Sector (North South Power and Mainstream Energy solutions) who are energy and electricity service providers said they are in business to POWER NIGERIA, they indicated that their efforts and commitments is towards providing a stable durable supply of electricity to the people.

The power sector stated that it is their responsibility to generate and distribute service to the consumers, but they highlighted the distribution constrain and limitation to utilized power generated in the country as part of the problem of unstable electricity in the state.

They stated that if the right policy is in place the power generation can be transmitted and distributed directly to the consumers breaking the monopoly of the distribution companies. The sector said lack of ability to transmit all the energy is one of the major problems confronting the sector.

The DANGOTE Group of companies reiterated their commitment in implementing the company’s RICE Master Plan in Niger state which they stated as their company’s strategic plan to make Nigeria a number one rice destination in Africa.

The company further added that part of the plan is to set up a 200million metric ton rice processing and packaging plant in the state and also a state of the art sugar processing production plant, the Dangote however said they remained committed to the partnership and memorandum of understanding already established with the state government.

The Former Head of State, Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Abdulsalam Alhaji Abubakar GCFR, indicated that based on the United Nations Population Projections of the World there will be a population increase of about nine billion people by the year 2030.

The General confirmed that with that projection Nigeria share of that estimate is about 250million people by the year 2030 that need to feed and live a prosperous life.

General Abdulsalam also kicked against the inflated interest rate of about 18 to 20 percent currently used in Nigeria as over bloated and unproductive to the Agric farmers in the country, he said Nigeria interest rate is very high which made it uncompetitive and unattractive.

The former Head of State stressed that in many part of the world interest rate is lower, of about 2.5 percent when applying to farmers; he stated that to advance agricultural economy with new innovation hence the need for lower interest rate in Nigeria.

Former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo pointed out that unless the cash crop is cocaine, no agric produce can survive the kind of interest rate presently apply to agriculture in Nigeria, he said banks should be at the mercy of the farmers by reducing their interest rate in other to prosper and grow the economy of the state.

He challenged the Banking sector to come up with priority area of interest where they can invest and profit, Obasanjo stated that banks should be the channel in creating wealth and jobs that will “IMPACT” the “AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY” , President Obasanjo stressed agriculture as an enterprise that grows economy through provision of Labour, Market and infrastructure, he said the labour is readily available in Niger State and Abuja have provided the Market for the state produce, he further stated that the infrastructure are good roads that should be provided to move the agric goods.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello lamented that the state loose huge amount of money due to lack of processing plant for agric produce in the state, he stressed out that it is one of the challenges facing Niger State.

He said during his investors scouting tour to the State of Pennsylvania, the state is in there need of Soya Beans, the Governor stated that Niger State is greatly endowed with Soya Beans that can supply the State of Pennsylvania.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello stressed that the State of Pennsylvania interest rate is two percent; he said his government had subsidized the price of fertilizers to farmers in the state, made access to land Certificate affordable and cheaper, initiated whole school approach and created a teacher training institute across three senatorial zones, created the Niger State Green House Technology with easy access to airport facility, graduated 250 Youth in Skills acquisition program, reconstructed, renovated and constructed various kilometers of roads across the state, upgraded water network and improve the supply of water in the state, upgraded the information sector for public awareness and enlightment.

The Governor further explained that as part of his administration drive to IMPACT, INVEST, and ADVANCE AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY in the state his government have INNOVATED processes of governance by conducting exams for senior Civil servant cadre (Directors) to be selected for Permanent Secretary Ship based on merit without lobby or political influence, recruited 250 graduates into the state civil service, built fire stations across the state, provided transformers for improved power supply in the state, conducted local governments election with financial autonomy, improve the tourism potential of zungeru colonial ruins and Gurara waterfalls and also improved revenue generation.

The Acting President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, explained that the power problem in the country can be tackled using the solar power alternate energy to improve farmers access to power usage, he stressed that villages across Nigeria using this alternate energy is greatly IMPACTING in the standard of their livelihood.

The Acting President added that Nigeria is the greatest and number one economy in Africa; he said the federal government would come up with policy that will make Niger State a hub for Africa in agric produce, Professor Osinbanjo stressed that Niger State have an arable fertile landmass that can feed Africa not only Nigeria but the continent.

The Acting President said the federal government is putting modalities to upgrade and expand access to roads across the country that will boost the transportation of agric produce across regions and rural communities in Nigeria; he promised that the Minna-Suleja highway will be executed to alleviate the suffering of motorist plying the road.

THIS COMMENTARY IS NIGER STATE GOVERNMENT POLICY.

By: Muhammad Muhammad

Post Author: Hassan Usman

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