Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru has said, with the development of renewable energy, oil will soon become a thing of the past.
He however said that, the only alternative that can lead to the sustainable prosperity of Nigeria is agriculture.
Speaking on Wednesday in Kaduna on the occasion of, “Validation Workshop on Capacity Gaps for Implementing Holistic Empowerment for Livelihood Programme (HELP)”, the governor said, his administration has created a lot of jobs on rice value chains and doing same in Tomatoes and groundnut value chains.
He stated that, “Jigawa State can’t be industrialized because all the industries are in Kano, we cannot be centre of commerce because Kano is already a centre of commerce.
“But we are not relying on oil revenue because oil Well will soon be history if it runs dry, and for us to survive as a State, we have to work on competiveness.
“We have to develop our people, our business, develop our agriculture, and this will enable us to keep the state abreast if the oil well dries up. So agriculture is our life line.
“Oil will soon become history with the development of renewable energy. So, we have no alternative to agriculture. Prosperity of our state and country depends on agriculture.
“In Jigawa we have been able to produce large number of goats after distributing 3 goats each to over 600 women.
“Now we have large number of goats which in the next few months or years we will be able to export the necessary requirements to Kuwait.
“For you to know how serious we take agriculture in Jigawa, we discuss it every Monday at council meeting.
“We have trained over 145,000 youths across the State on rice planting implement, to plant and transplant.
“We also trained women on rice parboiling. So we have developed a lot of jobs on rice value chains. We are doing same in Tomatoes, groundnut sectors, etc.
“Our being here is to discuss agriculture because it is a duty we must do for our people.”
He further stated that, in order not to be industrially backward; his state has empowered women with breeding of goats in the rural areas.
He said over 600 male and female goats were distributed, believing that within few years, goat production would have been sizeable enough for export to Kuwait and other Arab countries
Recalled that in 2016 Jigawa State government provided goats to women in its goats multiplication farming programme.
The governor noted that about 85 per cent of the women have so far abided by returning three goats each to the government as interest on the goats earlier distributed to them.
“As soon as we have enough of these goats we will export them to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, just to mention a few.
He also said Dangote rice farming has a robust out-grower scheme covering a piloted area of 8’000 hectares, which he said involved 5,000 farmers, launched in Hago village of Kafin-Hausa local government area of the State.
Earlier in his opening remarks, convener of Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Dr. Usman Bugaje lamented, that Nigeria has the most fertile land in Africa but still imports food.
He said the country’s population is estimated to be 300 million in the next 12 years, saying , if practical steps are not taken to address issues of food security, the country will not be able to feed its population.
However, the ARDP boss said, the workshop must identify the gaps that are making it difficult for Nigeria to be self-sufficient in food.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo said the workshop must come out with roadmap for the development of agricultural value-chain in Africa.