Nigeria Northern Governors Urged To Tap Wealth From River Niger, Benue

By Amos Tauna

Concerned professionals of Arewa, Northern Nigeria, have said that Rivers Niger and Benue have untapped tremendous social and economic development potentials for the region in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

They urged the northern governors to tap arrays of socio-economic resources from the two rivers in the region to create wealth for the people.

In a package titled, “Towards a Competitive Economic Development Agenda for Northern Nigeria,” unfolded in Kaduna by the Co-ordinator of the Professionals, and former Minister of State for health, Arch. Gabriel Yakubu Aduku, on a second day of a 2-Day Conference organized by Sir. Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation.Operating as YG-Consult, the professionals said they were convinced that developing suitable projects along the rivers could lead to the transformation and modernization of the cities, towns and villages along the river banks.

“These projects include, irrigation and hydroponic farming, modern and self sustaining new towns and neighborhood, acquaculture supported by extensive fish canning and water transportation.

Others are tourism and international water sports, development of inland ports, manufacturing park for renewable energy systems and livestock grazing supported by extensive meat processing facilities.

“It is high time the 19 northern governors take advantage of enormous resources in these rivers to develop the north, there is no stopping from tapping these resources since the two rivers are in the northern region, and the entire country will benefit from this.

“The idea to amalgamate north and south in 1914 by the colonial masters was hatched in Lokoja, where river Benue and Niger meet, known as confluence,” the Coordinstor noted.

The professionals are of the strong belief that these projects would generate considerable wealth and create numerous jobs for the teaming population of northern region in particular and Nigeria in general.

Explaining the vision and responsibilities of the YG-Consult, Arch. Aduku said it would facilitate the planning, development management of projects in partnership with state and local governments as well as local and international investors.

The envisaged responsibilities, he explained, include promoting and marketing projects to Local and International Investors, Development Finance Institutions, promote equity participation and investment of states and local governments in the project to reduce their reliance on federal allocation.

Arch. Aduku also spoke on the possible roles and responsibilities government could play to make the project a reality, saying that the federal government and its agencies would amend and harmonise related laws to support the development of the project, while states and local governments allocate land required for each project as their equity.

He said under planning strategies, the YG-Consult would among others adopt a Metropolitan Development and Management Plans to guide the development along the two rivers to be named Niger River Metro Plan and Benue River Metro Plan respectively.

Arc. Aduku re-emphasized that the Metro Plans would promote social and economic interdependence of the new development, with their surround towns and cities constituting a single economy and labour market.

The Coordinator told the conference that the formation of YG-Consult was further motivated by the policy pronouncement of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, including its determination to diversify Nigerian economy away from the dominance of crude oil.

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Posted by on 27/04/2017. Filed under Economy, Governance, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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