Gov Bago leading a new campaign for economic prosperity – Group

NV News

A pro-democracy group in northern Nigeria, the Northern Democratic Front, NDF, has said Governor Mohammed Umar Bago of Niger State has commenced a new campaign for the economic prosperity of the North.

The group expressed optimism that Governor Bago’s agricultural revolution in Niger State will bring about monumental economic development in the northern region in particular and the country in general.

In a statement issued at the end of an assessment conducted at the Arewa House, Kaduna, NDF National President, Alhaji Hamidu Usman, commended Governor Bago for taking the bold step of leading the Northern economic renaissance through agriculture.

Alhaji Usman noted that Dr Bago’s commitment to agricultural revitalisation in Niger State is self-evident and realistic.

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“When Governor Umar Bago came into office, he had promised to make agriculture one of the major focuses of his administration, a promise he has kept considering what had been put on ground in Niger State,” the statement said. Under his visionary leadership, Niger State has become a haven for agricultural investments.

“The ‘Farmer Governor’, as he wished to be addressed, wasn’t mincing words when he disclosed at a recent function that Niger State has attracted over a billion dollars in Agric business investments since the inception of his administration in 2023. Our assessment confirmed this and other developmental strides recorded in the agricultural sector by his administration in less than one year.

“It was possible because of the agricultural development policies initiated by Governor Bago’s administration. Niger state, over the next year, plans to cultivate one million hectares of farmland, inclusive of a 50,000 hectares fully irrigated food production hub. Over 500 large-capacity tractors, 1000 pieces of irrigation and agricultural equipment, 2000 power tillers for smallholder farmers, 2000 petrol water pumps, 3000 solar pumps, and 5000 tube wells to support dry season farming have been delivered. In addition, the government has acquired over 200,000 bags of fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. The farm machinery, fertilisers and other farm inputs were distributed to farmers in the state at a subsidized price.

“Governor Umar Bago’s administration prioritizes peace as a necessary elixir for the development of society and distributed about hundred operational vehicles to the Niger State Command of Nigeria Police, its sister agencies like the SSS, NSCDC, NDLEA, and some other non-conventional security agencies to curb insecurity in the state, thereby, paving way for hitch-free farming.

“The ‘Farmer Governor’ in his magnanimity, recently announced that residents farming on government lands will not be evicted. His announcement is a display of purposeful, resourceful, and progressive leadership in action. The Governor has established a strong agricultural value chain by connecting farmers with processors, distributors, and retailers.

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“The Governor Bago’s administration has also embarked on numerous infrastructural projects across the state to complement the agricultural revolution of the state government. The policies, programmes and projects of the government have propelled the state for agro-industrialisation, setting the stage for the economic development of the northern region in particular and the country in general.

“Niger State’s goal of delivering 100,000MT of grain by June 2025 is achievable, the ongoing agricultural revolution in the state is self-evident and realistic. Governor Bago’s unparalleled achievements in the agricultural sector in less than one year are far-reaching and worthy of emulation. His faith in agriculture deserves commendation.

“Before the discovery of crude oil, agricultural exports accounted for about 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings in 1960. In quarter one of 2023, three products alone, Cocoa seed, sesame, and cashew seed, even without maximising our potential, gave the country N297 billion. In 2022, Malaysia’s gross domestic product from palm oil export was estimated to be $8 billion.

“Therefore, Governor Bago must be commended for taking us back to the agricultural roadmap of our founding fathers. The enormous benefits and potentials of the agricultural sector can never be overemphasised.”

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