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Opinion

My Vision for Jigawa State (VII)

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Mustafa Sule Lamido

 

By: Mustapha Sule Lamido

I wish to start by commending all stakeholders who have been working round the clock to ensure that we remain on the right track. Over the past few weeks, we have been holding consultation meetings with leaders and elders from all 27 Local Government Areas of our dear state to establish a strong synergy that will enable us to finetune our policies and pass our message across to the grassroots. I commend the efforts of all volunteers working for the betterment of Jigawa State.

In the past few weeks, I have received concerns that our focus is still largely on the regular perennial issues of education, health, agriculture, water resources, etc. which every leader in Nigeria keeps talking about. Actually, I share these concerns also. In fact, I find it disturbing that we are still battling to get the basics right in Nigeria even after over 60 years of independence. One wouldve wished that by now, we should be discussing sophisticated issues of 21st century development, but we cant erect the building without a foundation. This is why we still have to emphasize on solving our foundational problems. Hopefully, we will get things right in a few years time.

Today, I want us to discuss agriculture which for now is the bedrock of the Jigawa State micro-economy. Over 75% of our people are farmers though at subsistence level. Agriculture is so broad that you cannot discuss its development in summary. Therefore, our vision for the sector is so wide and comprehensive that we have decided to discuss it in two series. Our major long-term plan is to make agriculture a macro-economic commercial venture that can be independent of government funding. We want to create an enabling environment which farmers will become strong enough to run their ventures just like factories and companies. In the long run, government will be the one benefitting from agricultural revenues even without huge budgetary allocations for the sector.

First and foremost, we are lucky that all the natural and artificial factors favourable to agricultural development are already available in Jigawa State. Our State has a total landmass of 24,742 square kilometres, a large proportion of which is certified to be arable. Ground survey data from the Jigawa State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (JARDA) indicates that our State has a total fadama (wetlands) size of 3,433.79 km (14% of its total landmass). In addition, we have a population of over 3 million able-bodied youths.

In addition to our new plans for agriculture, we intend to build on the achievements of the previous PDP administration. Our major deliverables are, establishment of a conducive environment through solving the farmers-herders conflict, revolutionary upgrade from subsistence to commercial farming through agricultural mechanization, sustainable agricultural funding, modernized and scientific agriculture through research and revival of agricultural extension, developing an irrigation masterplan for all-year round farming, modernized animal production and upgrade of veterinary clinics, effective storage and increased agro-processing, increased access to subsidized farm inputs and establishment of a strong linkage between agriculture and industrialization.

We will start by establishing a synergy with relevant national and international organizations in order to achieve the complete formalization of the agricultural sector. We shall deploy experts to conduct a comprehensive soil classification across the state and document the environmental requirements of all crops so that farmers can be guided on what to produce, how to produce them and where to do so. This will pave way for the gradual migration of Jigawa State into scientific agriculture. We shall work to evaluate the periodic contributions of agriculture and its components to our GDP.

As a matter of policy, we shall encourage all civil servants and other corporate entities to take up agriculture as a second venture. Our government will consider granting significant funds as agricultural loans to civil servants at zero interest rates to be deducted from their salaries over time. Only those who show convincing evidence of existing investment in agri-business will benefit.

We shall deploy a viable and sustainable means of supporting serious farmers with the right capital. Under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme of the Federal Government, the CBN is reported to have disbursed over 5 billion Naira as loan between 2016-2021 to Jigawa State farmers. However, it is difficult to objectively assess the sustainable impacts of these loans on the sector in the state. In partnership with the same Federal Government, we will start from the depoliticization of these loans so that only real farmers will have access irrespective of political affiliation. We will then expand the scheme at local level and improve it through monitoring and evaluation Insha Allah.

We will revive agricultural extension by extensively and intensively using the services of relevant graduates of the agricultural discipline. They will be given exclusive consultancy and extension service training and development exposure on new and better ways of mechanised agriculture and utilisation of better yielding seeds and varieties of animal/fishery breeding methods, etc.

We will conduct a comprehensive review of the policies and implementation mechanisms of agricultural inputs to farmers and cooperatives. To ensure the sustainability of fertilizer supply at affordable prices, we will work with private investors for the establishment and strengthening of factories with the capacity to produce the right quality and quantity throughout the year. We shall also work to attract further investors that specialize in other farm consumables like pesticides and animal supplements to see the possibility of producing them in Jigawa.

We cannot move beyond our current status if we dont substitute crude implements with modern ones; but we are aware that achieving agricultural mechanization will require time and huge resources. Since it will be nearly impossible to provide farm machineries to all categories of farmers at once, we will emphasize on agricultural equipment hiring and maintenance arrangement. Under this, there will be a community-based arrangement to deploy these equipment and tools to farmer groups to expose them to their uses and elementary maintenance. The services of the newly trained extension workers and practitioners will be utilised here.

We shall give priority to irrigation agriculture. Jigawa has 8 Dams, Dambo, Kazaure and Wawanrafi Dams in Kazaure LGA, Warwade Dam in Dutse LGA, Galambi and Hayin Walde Dams in Gwaram LGA, Kafin Gana Dam in Birnin Kudu LGA and Kalwai Dam in Kaugama LGA. Insha Allah, we shall develop a new irrigation masterplan to make the best use of our existing water resources. In my next focus, I will continue with our agricultural policies and programmes for Fulani nomads, animal production, agro-processing, storage and marketing as well as the complete agricultural value chain.

Gobe ta Allah ce
©Santurakin Dutse

Opinion

Harvard University Library Has 20 Million Books- Dr. Yushau

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Dr Muhammad Jameel Yushau

 

By Dr. Muhammad Jameel Yushau

The Harvard University experience is incomplete without discussing the abundant #learning opportunity offered by Harvard University library.

Harvard University has the oldest university library system in the United States. The library was established in 1638 and there are 28 libraries currently under the #university library system. It comprises 20 million books, 700 staff, 6 million digitized and publicly available items, 1 million maps and spatial data sets and 400 million rare items that include photographs, letters and manuscripts as stated by the university library page.

Harvard library

Harvard’s library

The Widener library, which is the largest and located at the Harvard Yard is where I enjoy spending part of my weekend. Widener library is an architectural edifice and a tourist attraction. Many visitors to Massachusetts State visit Widener Library as part of their touristic voyage.

A student is allowed to bring at least four guests to study in the library. So myself and my family utilize this opportunity especially during the weekends.

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The Widener library was named after Harry Elkins Widener, a book collector, businessman and 1907 graduate from Harvard University. He died in the titanic accident of April 1912 along with his father. But his mother survived. The surviving mother gave $2 million grant to start the library in the name of her son. In addition to the 6 million digitized items, there are materials in 450 languages in the library.

Students at the site

Students at the site

Takeaway: The backbone of a university is the quality of its library. Contributing to the library is not the exclusive preserve of the university, but a public responsibility.

Dr Yushau is a candidate for the Mid-Career Master Program in Public Administration, and Editor-in-Chief of Africa Policy Journal

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Opinion

Collective action essential on Climate Change Action

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Jibril Salisu Nainna

 

By Jibril Salisu Na’inna.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s article that was recently published by the Washington post was apt and represents a strong voice of reason not only for Nigeria or Africa, but the whole world.

It is easy to rate it appropriately as an article conveying the right massage for humanity at a time the crisis in Ukraine is deflecting attention from the grim climate changes that are causing despair around the world.

The article has exposed the level of imbalance in some global agendas in which some countries and regions do not show sufficient commitment so long those countries or regions feel less affected by the devastating impact of climate change.

It is indeed true that the big economies are unwilling to stop or reduce their emissions that are responsible for global warming and climate change. And they are also shy of making the requisite agreed financial releases necessary to mitigate the impact of climate change,especially in developing countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari was on point when he advised the rich countries not to create the impression that the world cannot invest in its own safety against climate change.

“Don’t tell Africa that the world cannot afford the climate cost of its hydrocarbons — and then fire up coal stations whenever Europe feels an energy pinch. Don’t tell the poorest in the world that their marginal energy use will break the carbon budget — only to sign off on new domestic permits for oil and gas exploration. It gives the impression your citizens have more of a right to energy than Africans,” he said.

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It can be recalled that the rich countries that contributed most to the climate crisis and pledged that to spend $25 billion by 2025 to boost Africa’s efforts to adapt to climate change as the continent continues to struggle with drought, cyclones and extreme heat, as reported by Africanews.

But they have, sadly, failed to make that promise good.”Governments have repeatedly failed to meet their commitments to the $100 billion fund for climate adaptation and mitigation in the developing world — for the mess their own industries caused.”

 

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt where COP27 is holding has reawaken the consciousness of Africa to demand equal input and enough action with overall sincere commitment to confronting and mitigating the adverse negative effect of climate change facing the world especially the developing and poor countries with very low or no contribution to global carbon emission.

Indeed, Nigeria is not left out of the adverse crisis, the president reminded the world that Nigerian case was not different where he said “Part of my nation is underwater. Seasonal flooding is normal in Nigeria, but not like this. Thirty-four of the country’s 36 states have been affected. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced” it is a verifiable fact, of which Jigawa state of northwestern Nigeria is the most affected state this year.

Nevertheless, for Africa to adopt resolutions of the conference fully enough, countries that made pledges to support developing countries must be committed and any source of survival that must left for the good, must firstly be substituted with an alternative means.

COP 2022 must be a truthful rise to act collectively so as to see more meaning and right actions taken ahead of next conference in 2023.

Jibril Salisu Na’inna is a student and pan Africanist wrote from ABU Zaria.
Jibrilsalisunainna @gmail.com

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Opinion

Intervention Of Elder statesman :Way Out For ASUU- FG Face OFF

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Abdurrahman Joji Adamu

 

Abdurrahman Joji Adamu

The leadership of all University based unions should seek the audience and intervention of General Abdussalami Abubakar regarding the crisis and uncertainty of the Govt to address issues lingering in our Federal Universities, because the Federal government in my opinion, has adopted “competition” as the conflict mechanism tool to defeat ASUU and other University unions, The government is trying to satisfy their own desires at the expense of the other parties.

ASUU had in over the years being going on strikes, whenever they are on strike they table huge demands for the government to look into and addresses them, some of these grievances got considerate hiring by previous regimes and administrations. Part of the successes of ASUU strike overtime gave birth to tertiary intervention fund, which without tetfund intervention our Universities could have been like community public secondary schools.

This time around, the eight month strike had degenerates alot of war of words. looking at the aggressive nature of government ministers on the issue, series of meeting to resolve the strike were proved abortive until the intervention of the speaker of house of representative whom in his capacity and wisdom tried his best, ASUU agrees to back off.

It was apparent that all the striking unions were all tired and some are even ready for a fallback position. But the government in it inhuman nature has refused to give a compassionate attention on the matter by paying backlogs salaries to enable people go back to work, the repercussion had made so many of academic staff having no passion for their jobs anymore.

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Former president Goodluck Jonathan sometimes ago gave a highlight on how he solved the problem of ASUU then, in single day, without doubt we consider the statement of the former President as a challenge posed on President Buhari in order to take clue and expedite measures to resolve the strike issues, but the president gave an absent minded attitude on the lingering issue.

The essence of Government at whatever level is to provide leadership and service to the people. The arrogant nature of both ministers made negotiations deadlocked all times.

Those who think they are too big to serve should not be brought near public offices.

Ministers must not only be suitably qualified for their posts; they must also be willing to serve with all sense of expertise and humility.

With the inability of the ministers to make ASUU- cease fire on these stagnating negotiation and crafty promises, i think the president should re-visit the constitution in order to comprehend his presidential powers and duties accordingly.

 

 

Elder statesmen are seen globally as eminent senior members of a Nation especially : a retired statesman who unofficially advises current leaders. I believe the General can make peace out of these dilemma our Universities are facing. In record we have seen how the General chaired the peace accord committee in 2015 election and without doubt the committee conducted a brilliant work by making the power of incumbency irrelevant and opposition taking over the government.

I think the academics should search for a war veteran like him who has also fulfilled the promise of relinquishing power, perhaps he would advise the government impartially so they would understand.

 

Abdulrahman Joji Adamu
Write from Kano

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