05 July 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Following calls for diversification of the nation’s economy from oil to Agriculture, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has inaugurated the state’s Economic Advisory Council to tap into the abundant human and mineral resources available to boost the state.
While inaugurating the Council, virtually
the Governor challenged members to lead the state into prosperity and open new doors of opportunities towards economic diversification.
He said the members were carefully selected based on their track records adding that their main responsibility is to work with the state government to generate internal revenue.
“As you know, Kogi State is vastly blessed with human and natural resources, that are yet to be optimally harnessed for the good of our people” Bello stressed.
The governor explained that available data indicates that the state has over 29 solid minerals in commercial quantity, In addition with the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, as well as being the gateway to the FCT, bordered by ten States including the FCT.
“we are blessed with potentially world class tourist sites, with leading cash crops such as cashew, cassava, rice etc and high profiled industries such as Ajaokuta, Itakpe Iron Ore and Obanaja Cement Company”.
Governor Bello said the way out is for the nation to go back to the days of agricultural boom and devise a way of optimizing the abundant mineral resources in the country.
“As you know, Agriculture was the pride of the nation before the discovery of oil in the 60s, but the coming of it utterly neutralized the gains in Agriculture and stalled the progress in other sectors, as well” he stated.
He explained that there was no doubt that, crude oil, in Nigeria is suffering declining relevance and may actually become extinct, with the passage of time or become totally irrelevant, due to improvements in renewable energy over environmental concerns.
“In 2016 and 2020, Nigeria entered into recession over the collapse of the price of crude oil. This, for me, underlines the fragility of our economy and indeed a wake-up call, that we must begin to think beyond oil, if we are to be sustainable as a nation and by extension if we are to survive, as a State” Bello added.
He further informed the Council that the rationale behind the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara was to create local capacity and strategically position the state to take advantage of the abundant mineral resources.
The Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council, Mr Aliyu Nda Salami while responding on behalf of other members thanked the Governor for the intrinsic confidence reposed on them, saying they have resolved to hit the ground running and change the fortunes of the state for good.