President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will soon address unemployment among Nigerian youth and tackle hunger in the country using agriculture.
Mr. Buhari stated this on Thursday at a town hall meeting in Jos on the first day of his two-day visit to Plateau State.
“We can’t overcome unemployment and hunger if we don’t eat what we produce from our farms,” he said. “Everywhere I went on state visits, Kano, Nasarawa and Taraba states, I have seen teeming unemployed youth.”
He commended the Plateau State Government for keying into agricultural policies of the federal government.
He said the federal government will refund money spent by the Plateau State Government on federal roads.
“I hereby direct the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing as well as other relevant agencies to expedite action towards the refund of such funds to the Plateau State Government.”
Speaking on his administration efforts in fighting corruption, Mr. Buhari said plans are on to reclaim landed properties corruptly acquired by government officials.
Responding to alleged marginalisation of women in his appointments, the president assured Nigerian women of full participation in governance under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governor Simon Lalong had during an address told President Buhari that his administration was focused on security and welfare of citizens.
He said his administration had made judicious use of the bailout funds given the state, revived moribund industries and fully paid salaries of civil servants and pension.
“Plateau State remains one of the few states in the country that has paid workers salaries and pension up to date,” the governor said.
Mr. Lalong said his administration spent N46 billion on urban roads across the three senatorial districts of the state, some of which were commissioned by the president.
The governor faulted claims that the federal government had abandoned the recently abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.
“It is not true that President Buhari is not concerned about the abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls. We are all witnesses to the fact that President Buhari has deployed more securities to Yobe with the aim of rescuing the abducted girls.
“The Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction incident is an unfortunate situation, no one will wish that such a thing happen anywhere.”
He called on Nigerians with useful information toward rescuing the abducted schoolgirls to assist security operatives.
During interactions, Plateau stakeholders requested Mr. Buhari to help resettle internally displaced persons still at camps across the state.
The traditional ruler of Jos, Jacob Buba, at his palace appealed to Mr. Buhari to consider establishment of state police to curtail insecurities in Nigeria.
Mr. Buba who is the chairman council of chiefs of the state, also suggested devolution of powers to lower tiers of governments.
A large crowd besieged the state government house trying to catch a glimpse of President Buhari. They overpowered security operatives at the gate and forced their way into the government house premises.
At the town hall meeting were the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu; former deputy governor of Plateau, Jethro Akun; former minister of state for information, Ibrahim Nakande, religious and opinion leaders.
The state visit by President Buhari ends Friday morning, with the commissioning of newly procured tractors for farmers.