Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has on Thursday said We’ll be proud to encourage production for export to boost our economy, when he recieved the Executive Director , Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo at the Government House, Maiduguri.
Zulum added that, the strategic location of Borno gives the state added advantage of controlling a regional commercial hub. Borno state borders Republic of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and with linkages to the Central African Republic.
The Governor also said, Borno being located within Sahel and Sudan Savannah grassland ecology with loose sandy soil and minerals rich black muddy soil (Firgi), with the characterised rain season which supports the growth of varieties of both food and cash crops.
Furthermore, Zulum informed his guest that having Lake Chad and other rivers traversing the state, very rich potentials exist for irrigation of any crop for both consumption and export.
Zulum also stated, the insurgency in the last one decade has grounded all the developmental efforts which resulted to a serious environmental degradation, joblessness and massive displacement.
He however said, Government is putting all efforts targeting at the restoration of normalcy and revamping of the economy in the state.
“I started with a campaign for a ‘quick return to farm’ that entailed opening up of the arable land, provision of free seedlings and take-off grants and protection of the farmlands. We also embarked upon massive irrigation programme in the secured locations. In addition, Government secured Central Bank facilities (Anchor Borrower and Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme- AADD) to boost rice and irrigation farming and empower our farmers.” Said Governor Zulum.
“We are not unaware of the vagaries of the climate change. I am making efforts through the Lake Chad Development Commission on how to mitigate the threat of desertification, rejuvenate the ecosystem and the Lake Chad itself.” Governor Zulum stated.
On his part Mr Olusegun Awolowo explained his organisation’s mandate and their effort in promoting zero oil plan.
“Your Excellency, the Zero oil plan has set a long term goal of earning 20 percent of Nigeria’s GDP (i.e USD 100 billion) from non-oil eexports. The initial target however is to exceed USD 30 billion in non-oil exports over the next 10 years.” Mr Awolowo stated.