say that Niger state is richly endowed with abundant resources is a
massive understatement. On a recent trip to Pategi through Bida and
Nupeko for the recent wedding of my big brother Dr. Husseini
Mohammed, I got another potent reminder of why the state should have
nothing in common with poverty and underdevelopment.
the fringes of Doko, up to one of the tributaries of the river Niger
where we boarded a ferry which virtually landed us in the heart of
Pategi, the terrain was all lush and made up of vast paddy fields of
all types of farming. And we covered a distance of fifty kilometers!
With effective irrigation and correct expertise, the fields could be
made to yield all year long. Niger state could be an industrial
scale producer and exporter of agricultural products with effective
situation is pretty much the same in other parts of the state as
well. From Muye, through Badeggi, and down to the lush plains near
Mokwa, the state boasts of rich soils, and paddy fields, which could
easily be exploited to make the state a net exporter of food. It is
precisely for that reason that the National Cereals Research
Institute is located in the state.
presence of the three hydro-electric power dams also suggests Niger
state government could exploit and encourage the development
fisheries on a commercial scale. With the right policies,
incentives, and visionary leadership, the state should, to a large
extent, create and enabling environment for its teeming youth
population to escape the clutches of poverty.
recent trips home to the state I encountered some scenes that
actually broke my heart. I saw teenage children on the streets
begging, a thing un-heard of in those parts a decade or so ego. They
descend on you when you stop to buy newspapers or at various
eateries. I donít know about others, but to me, nothing could be as
depressing as watching children so young lose their self-esteem that
early in their sojourn though life.
state, in my opinion, should be better able to cope with such social
challenges with better leadership. It is not only home to three of
the nationís hydro-electricity stations at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro
with a promise of a forth to follow, at Zungeru; it also has one of
the nationís few natural inland ports at Baro, once the epicenter of
boisterous economic activity, but now sadly, in an advanced stage of
neglect and decay. Baro is equally connected by rail to Minna, a
major railway junction. Niger is also known to harbour solid
minerals including Gold.
his much trumpeted PhD, and rich bureaucratic experience in the
federal civil service, Nigerlites expected much from the erstwhile
governor Babangida Aliyu, but were eventually made to curse the day
he was elected into office, and that is to be kind to the man. Under
normal circumstances, topping his (Aliyuís) act should be a cakewalk
for his successor Abubakar Sani Bello since the man left very few
legacies beyond abandoned projects. But he will still have his work
cut out for him.
lower hand-outs from the center due to crumbling oil prices set to
be worsened with the re-entry of Iranian crude into the market after
the signing of its nuclear deal with the West, Bello, or Habu-Lolo,
as the governor is more popularly referred to in the state, will
have far lesser resources to make an impact. The dire situation is
sure to challenge his leadership and managerial credentials. But
that is also where Niger stateís enormous potentials will be a
very few industries, Niger state cannot dream of the sort of
Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) enjoyed by other states, but it
can still make its tax regime more effective, added to the prudent
use of its god-given resources. Niger state should be able attract
foreign expertise and investments to create jobs for its youth.
state can put pressure on the federal government for the reopening
of the Baro inland port which will unlock unaccountable avenues for
jobs and wealth creation. And that should be done as a deliberate
strategy of the Niger state government in partnership with its
above all, the new governor should give the idea of granting soft
loans to qualified graduates to venture into agriculture by creating
farming communities in all the three Senatorial Districts. With his
ideas about operating a lean administration, youth empowerment will
make people less dependent on government and more productive.
is the way the future is structured. It has no room for loafers or
hangers-on. And, like I suggested to the former governor almost
eight years ago in through this medium, Habu Lolo can start by
summoning a Niger state Economic Summit rigorously debate all
options open to his administration.
of the failings of his successor was his overwhelming propensity to
assume that he alone had the answers to all the problems of Niger
state. Unfortunately, as it turned out, he didnít even know how to
vacate the scene gracefully.
manner of Aliyuís exist should serve as a lesson to the amiable Habu-Lolo.
Power is transient and must be used wisely. I wish our new Governor
Godís guidance tackling the enormous tasks ahead of him. He must not
fail our generation.
AS BUHARI PREPARES FOR AMERICA
Muhammad, You wrote well. We should now throw diplomacy in the wind
and challenge the west and if they use aid to force our hands we
should accuse them of no-colonialism. We should be ahead now in our
thinking not the other way of responding. The way the west is trying
to force on Africans to follow this strange practice of legalised
sodomy is a violation of our rights and culture. It is
neo-colonialism of still thinking that the West, or the white man,
is always right.
for an African American president to carry such crusade on his head
shows how little he was exposed to the culture of his father while
growing up. Obama has betrayed his ignorance and he is too arrogant
to say the least. Someone should tell him. He was hijacked by the
Hollywood moguls who are perverts and was forced to do their
bidding. He sold his heart to them.
Africans should now reconnect with their culture and bring back
polygamy and be proud of it. Since colonialism, Africans have tried
to buy everything the West put forward and neglected or subjugated
their values but I think this pervert practice has finally got
Africans to start distancing themselves from the west. A lot of
people do not even want integration with the West anymore. That is
how this pervert culture touched people.
the past the visit of an American president called for celebration
and a feeling of acceptance into the real world. It is no more the
case; the visit of Obama to Africa is now not exciting because he is
looked upon like an inflicted man, a toxic waste to be avoided. Now
which Nigerian wants Obama in Nigeria, it would be nice to have an
opinion poll on it but I bet most will not want him here. This is
how low America is fallen.
a Christian but actually there was no chapter in the gospel which
says polygamy was wrong. One man one wife was a white manís design
and we Africans bought it. This gay thing MUST BE REJECTED in its
entirety and we must find a way to turn the table on the west for
Ndinigwe Ugochukwu Ė firstname.lastname@example.org