By Joseph Edegbo:
A Memorandum on the “Development of the North” was on Tuesday 2nd July 2019 submitted to Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF by a group of concerned professionals operating under the aegis of YG- Consult.
The Document would be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration.
Largely entitled “Harnessing the Potentials of Rivers Niger/Benue for Sustainable Development of Nigeria”, the document was submitted to ACF by the Co-ordinator of the group, Arc Gabriel Yakubu Aduku in Kaduna, the defunct capital of northern Nigeria.
Presenting the Document, Arc Aduku reminded the ACF that YG-Consult is a group of professionals from diverse professional background, with national and international experience.
The formation of YG-Consult, Aduku explained, was motivated by the policy pronouncements under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari including its affirmed determination to diversify Nigerian economy away from crude oil.
Chief Aduku noted that Nigerian nation is no doubt blessed in all areas, such that it does not require much effort to transform its seeming underdevelopment into a classic developmental transformation within a short time.
“One of the hitherto unexplored blessings bestowed on our country, is the location of the two great rivers (Niger/Benue) which travers over the geographical landscape of Nigeria in a welcoming embrace,” Chief Aduku said.
He told ACF that access to the sea is a major determinant of international commerce and industry for which the North was known and was therefore politically expedient and imperative for these two rivers to be opened up to the sea and develop major maritime /tourism industries along its river banks.
Chief Aduku said the professionals are willing and prepared to put their expertise and experience at the disposal of government to ensure the successful implementation of this laudable project.
“Specifically, we are offering to carry out detailed survey of the two rivers to identify types, scope and locations of the proposed transformative projects, market the projects to potential local and international investors”, he said.
States and Local governments that are among the main Stakeholders to be involved in the projects, according to the group, are Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Kebbi which are along the River Niger, while those along River Benue, are Kogi, Benue, Nassarawa,Taraba and Adamawa.
Downstream of the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue with potential of becoming stakeholders, the group added, are Edo, Delta Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa.
It also listed Federal, State, Local governments and Civil Society Organizations as other broad range of stakeholders envisaged for the projects.
Chief Aduku who emphasised on the huge but largely untapped potentials of the two rivers stressed the need to harness their benefits so as to contribute to the modernisation and economic development of the States, towns cities along then in particular and Nigeria in general.
Members of the YG-Consult who are mostly Fellows in their various fields, are Prof Mustapha Zubairu , Secretary General, Sen Abubakar Girie, Engr. Nurudeen Rafindadi. Engr Kashim Ali, Arc Dr. Phillp Iyortyer, Murtala Aliyu , Prof Ignatius Ayua , Engr Dr. Aliyu Abubakar and Arc Daniel Agamah.
Others are, Dr. Omede Idris, Admiral Abdullahi Shettima rtd, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura. Engr.Joseph Makoju and Dr. Samson Opaluwa.