Governor Ahmed warns northern states against dependence on oil revenue

Kwara governor asks the region to convoke agric summit.

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has asked the 19 northern states to convoke an Agriculture Summit in order to chart a roadmap for the development of agriculture as agribusiness rather than being dependent on oil revenues.

He said the pursuit of an agriculture based economy should be premised on good governance, growth of the right institutions that would engender the implementation of appropriate policies, as well as
promotion of equity and respect for rule of law.

Mr. Ahmed stated this while delivering a lecture at the inauguration of New Leadership and Public Lecture organized by the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, in Kaduna on Tuesday.

In the lecture titled “Northern Nigeria Economy free of Oil Revenue,” the governor warned that agribusiness must not be mistaken for the ad-hoc and centralized approach to commercial agriculture that had been implemented over the years.

He said the Northern Nigeria must explore holistic approaches to agricultural revolution in the region.

“I propose an approach that fully explores specified value chains by providing inputs to farmers and connecting them to consumers through the financing, handling, processing, storage, transportation,
marketing and distribution of agro products,” the governor said.

According to Mr. Ahmed, each point of this value chain would yield significant opportunities for economic activities, jobs, and markets that would also grow the revenues of other components of the chain, especially the small holder and large commercial farming concerns.

He also explained that the agribusiness approach placed emphasis on value addition as opposed to the sale and export of primary produce that had dominated agriculture in the Northern and other parts of the country over the years.

“The demand driven approach ensures that farmers and others, along the value chain know from the beginning who will buy their produce or require their services. Armed with that information, the farmer can, for example, raise credit and expand his business, safe in knowledge that the market for his produce is assured,” the governor said.

Earlier in his address, the Governor of Kaduna State, Muktar Yero, called for unity among the elders and governors of the 19 northern states.

He stressed the need for improved economic relations among the states in the northern part of the country based on their historical antecedents.


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