Connect with us

Economy

Reasons North is experiencing serious economic crises, by Audu Ogbe

Published

on

Spread the love

Reasons North is experiencing serious economic crises, by Audu Ogbe

Former minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbe who is also the chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has traced the problem of the North to the fact that the only industry since the 70s is either politics, the arms services, or the civil service.Ogbe was reacting to the formation of the new North Central Peoples Forum (NCPF) which was percieved as the breakaway of the North Central from the ACF which he chairs said there are fundamental issues which ACF has been unable to tackle as they were not its own making.
He said “The most tragic thing that happened to the North which nobody mentions when they complain about marginalisation is the fact that under Obasanjo the so-called Banking reform took away every Bank in the North.”Bank of the North, Lion Bank, Inland Bank, Habib Bank were all sold. How do you want to develop a region when there are no banks there?”He said there was no need pretending, that Nigeria is heavily ethnic, and regional in action.”Many of these other banks are not willing to finance anything around here no matter how hard you try. As at today there is no Northern Bank.””Even when Yaradua launched the N200b commercial Agriculture credit program and put the money in the hands of two big banks, everyone of us from the North who applied was denied.”The argument was that we were politically exposed, but I know friends of mine, active politicians who got the loans in other parts.”This was for Agriculture, how do you build a farm worthy of mention? How do you expand Agriculture industry which was our strong point before if you can’t access credit from the bank.”So before our very eyes, Kano lost a 126 industries.”Hence he said every person in the North as at the moment has one ambition, which is politics and once they are not named as part of the political machine they feel upset that they are being left out and marginalised.”Tragically and unfortunately our being named into Government at one time or the other as one person or another, play one role or the other that has never really solved our problem.”He said he welcome the formation of the North Central Forum even as he said the problem of the North was not that of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).He said his being the leader of ACF was not something he bargained for,”When I was made chairman I wasn’t even there. They met in Kaduna decided it I didn’t even know, and sent to me. On the other hand there were people within ACF who wanted to be chairman but were not picked, it took me about one month even to accept.”After leaving office I have been concentrating on my Agriculture. I say fine, I accepted. Having said that, I had no issues with the emergence of the North Central Forum people saying it is not an issue with us in ACF.
“I mean this is a democracy and people should be free to associate as convenient and expedient to their needs in particular area.”He said the idea of ACF which is 20 years old now came when they saw the decline in the North happeningHe said it came to get the North together to speak with one voice to pressurise Government and get things done.He said the other reason was to keep the North unified so as to minimise the conflicts of religion and ethnicity as there are close 300 ethnic groups in the North.”In the first Republic Sarduana was here he was not biased man in line of religion or politics.”I can tell you a story about Cardinal John Onayekan. We were school makes at St. Michael Aliade, when school set results came out in 1962, we were in form one, he was in form five, he had the best result in West Africa, 9 distinctions.”Guess who wanted to see him quickly, Sarduana sent for him and asked him whether he wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge. John said he wanted to be a priest, he said that was okay but if you change your mind you have the scholarship.”John said no he wanted to be a priest. Then Ahmadu Bello visited my school in 1963 on his way to the Sarduana Province then. He gave us a gift of two cows and praised our school for having put Northern Nigeria on the educational map of Nigeria.”He said when those good men died and the region splitted into states and Military rule came in the sensitivity of region and religion began to climb, the economy began to decline, Agriculture was dying.He indicated that the native authorities which played a major role then in developing the places started declining and started dying when the civilian came on board.”The native authorities became totally irrelevant. As at today hardship sets in, we were not growing and we were not paying tax anymore.”In those days once you are of a voting age you have to pay tax, if you don’t pay they would make you miserable in front of your wife and children. “Suddenly the economy started dying, the religious and ethnic sensitivity started growing and you kept hearing of marginalisation.”He admitted that there were instances where a Government comes on board and the major appointments come from one ethnic area, which irritates people especially sensitive positions.He said if the Northeast elites gather tomorrow and say their region has been bastardised by Bokoharam that they like as a group to do something about it, how can we quarrel about that? That is our position we are not quarrelling.
He said the North is a very large area hopelessly under developed and facing very severe crises, crises against which he said he warned in 2005 at a lecture I gave in Kaduna to the same ACF when late Chief Awoniyi, late Abubakar Rimi, Adamu Ciroma invited him to give a talk.”The topic was the North and the future of Nigeria. I warned that there was going to be violence and chaos on a scale that has never been seen. “Looking at the economic and Social Development of the North. There were those who did not agree with me and there were others who said, well the North is not like that, we don’t behave that way.”But I saw it because my worry is that for a very long time now since the end of the 70s the only industry in the North is either politics, the arms services, or the civil service.””Gone are the days when we had the industrialists in Kano and even in places like Benue, the Tilly Ghados of this world, in Jos the Danboyi Zangiel, Bakko Kantagora in Niger State to mention but a few.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Economy

Humanitarian minister flags off special grant for rural women in Plateau

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Humanitarian minister flags off special grant for rural women in Plateau

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has launched the one off payment of a special Grant  for rural women in Plateau state.

Over one hundred and fifty thousand women will receive a one-off special grant of twenty thousand naira each in all the 774 local government councils across Nigeria.

On her maiden launch of the special funds distribution held at the Banquet hall, Government House, the minister said the grant was a one-off disbursement to rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women. 

“Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, the Government has been paying more attention to protecting and promoting the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country.
This she said informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion.

“The Grant for Rural Women programme was introduced to sustain the social inclusion agenda of the Buhari Administration, including the realization of the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria. 

“The grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The grant is expected to increase access to financial capital required for economic activities.
“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the opportunity to increase their income, enhance their food security, and generally contribute towards improving their living standard”.

Farouq also thanked the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen for her contributions in ensuring a smooth take- off of the program in Plateau state.
She also used the opportunity to present assorted grains from the National Food Reserve, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as palliative for distribution to vulnerable persons affected by the  restriction of movement to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Food items presented to the state include 71 trailer load of Maize, Sorghum and Millet  to cater to 294,199 households.

Earlier, the Governor of Plateau State Dr Simon Bako Lalong expressed immense gratitude to the minister for her visit to the state. He acknowledged the role of women in the society especially the rural women. 

“This palliative will assist vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters like conflict and flood.  
“This occasion is unique because it also features the disbursement of cash transfer to 500 rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women.
“I am also delighted to note that 3005 pregnant and lactating women In Plateau state are currently receiving an additional five thousand naira as top-up of the Conditional Cash Transfer.
“This will go a long way in improving the lives of women and children in Plateau state particularly their health and economic empowerment”.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong in his comments 9noted that 26,004 vulnerable households in Plateau state were already receiving the Cash Transfer of N10,00 bi-monthly while 47,000 others await payment. He said the  state has 231,870 households on the State Social Register with 877,301 individual households. He appealed to the federal government to extend other social and intervention programs to capture those on the waiting list. 

The theme for this year’s International Day of Rural Women is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19”.

Continue Reading

Economy

Apprehension over Buhari’s misgivings on recession

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Apprehension over Buhari’s misgivings on recession


President Muhammadu Buhari left many Nigerians more confused when he admitted that the country’s economy may slip back into another recession in the third quarter of 2020, even while in the Fourth quarter.
Buhari expressed the misgivings while presenting the N13.1 trillion budget for 2021 with a deficit of N4.8 trillion that will be financed mainly by borrowing.
Many Nigerians were led to believe that the recession afterall may have since started going by his admittance while quoting the previous quarter.
This is more so as the President seem to be re-echoing what
Nigeria’s finance minister Zainab Ahmed had said in August 2020.

Ahmed had warned that unless Nigeria achieves a very strong third quarter 2020 economic performance, the country may slide into recession.
“Nigeria is exposed to spikes in risk aversion in the global capital market, which will put further pressure on the foreign exchange market as foreign portfolio investors exit the Nigerian market,” the minister  had said.
“Nigeria’s Q2 GDP growth is in all likelihood negative and unless we achieve a very strong Q3 2020 economic performance, the Nigerian economy is likely to lapse into a second recession in four years with significant adverse consequences.”
The President also said the projected GDP growth will be  negative in the third quarter of the year while the fourth quarter just started.
As such, the president said the economy may lapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences.
However, inspite of the apprehension, Buhari assured Nigerians that his team were working assiduously to ensure rapid recovery in 2021 saying there is no cause for any alarm.
“We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years,” he added

Buhari said the country’s economy is currently facing challenges with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Real Gross Domestic Product (‘GDP’) growth declined by 6.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. This ended the 3-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017,” the president said.

Continue Reading

Economy

Despite concerns over whooping N3.12tr for debt servicing, FG gives hope

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Despite concerns over whooping N3.12tr for debt servicing, FG gives hope

Not perturbed by concerns raised by stakeholders over N4trillion borrowing the Federal Government has pledged to meet up with it’s debt obligations with N3.12trillion for its servicing in the 2021 budget proposal.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the indication Thursday when he presented the 2021 budget proposal of N13.08trillion to the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to him, the amount represents an increase of N445.57 billion from N2.68 trillion in 2020.
“We remain committed to meeting our debt service obligations.

“Hence, we have provisioned N3.12 trillion for this in 2021, representing an increase of N445.57 billion from N2.68 trillion in 2020.
“A total of N2.183 trillion has been set aside to service domestic debts while N940.89 billion has been provided for foreign debt service.

“N220 billion is provided for transfers to the Sinking Fund to pay off maturing bonds issued to local contractors and creditors.’

Continue Reading

Trending