Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Thursday said, the key to the state’s growth is focus on Agricultural development.
The Gov disclosed this , during the plenary session on the mandate of governance at various level on the improvement of standard of living of citizens as part of activities marking at the third edition of the Kaduna investment summit.
He disclosed that, government intends to maintain the State’s position in being the lead producer of soya beans, ginger, Millet and potatoes.
The governor said he foresees Kaduna state becoming the food basket of the Northern region and the Country at large in the nearest future.
El-Rufai mentioned that the state has lots of solid minerals but it’s developments and long term plan requires extensive collaboration with the Federal government.
“Mining project typically takes eight years to come into operation, which we are focusing on but our main focus is agriculture and agric business”, he said.
According to him, the government is simplifying it’s procedures and making land available to investors in agriculture and Agro industries, as part of strategies to grow the sector fast.
“We have made significant success in the last two years, Agro industry is growing, we foresee a situation in which Kaduna would be the agricultural hub of Nigeria.
“We are already emerging as a big poultry cluster and we want to build on that”, he stressed
El-Rufai said going forward, there is need also invest heavily on education and health.
“This is why we invested significantly in the sector of education and State Building as well as health care and the United Nations recommended 26 percent of state’s budget is invested in education.
”Since we came into office, we have surpassed the World Health Organization recommended 15 percent of the budget on health in 2018; we have crossed that as we have done 16.1 percent.
“We believe education for the poorest is key to social mobility and we tend to keep doing that.
“Coming to the economic growth, recovery and growth plan, all state governors have a consultative plan and we are all involved and we all keyed into the general parameters”.
According to him, state governments have internalized the plan, targeting specific areas supporting the main plan.
“Unless state governments invest heavily in education and health care, the country will be clapping with one hand “he said.
On her part, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed commended the state for investing in human capital development.
“In health sector the responsibility of the government is to regulate, set up and manage tertiary hospital “she said.
Minister of State of Industries, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar said the Federal Government is working with the state government and other partners to revive the textile industries in Kaduna.
According to her, that they are also going to engage various stakeholders to boost cotton production and set up garment industries.
She said there were plans to supply power to the cluster in the textile zone in Kaduna, to sustain production.
“The textile industries in Kaduna are located at the industrial zone and they already have water and good access roads, the major challenges are the raw materials and power,” she noted.
Our correspondent reports that the session was to showcase the state as an emerging mining destination, the opportunities there in and the initiatives the sate government is undertaking to attract investments.
The state is endowed with gold, granite, tantalite, columbite and Nickel in commercial quantity.