Sola Ojo and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
As part of efforts to improve the economy of Kaduna State, Governor Nasiru el-Rufai has invited Chinese experts to see the possibility of revamping the textile industry in the state.
The development, according to the governor, is aimed at ensuring productive investment that would increase the economic chances of the state.
Governor el-Rufai, who stated this when he received the team at Sir Ibrahim Kashim House, Kaduna, on Wednesday, said the need to revamp the textile industry became necessary because of the impact which the development would have along the value-chain, which would improve the living standards of the people and cotton farmers in the state.
Elsewhere, General Manager of Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency, Sabi’u Sani Isyaku said the state government invited the company to see how it could revive cotton through value chain.
“We discovered that there are issues at different levels of production, beginning with the farmers. When they cannot produce the tonnes of cotton needed, the manufacturing industries will not have enough cotton to work with and that will lead to importation, which is quite expensive.
“So, one of the things we are doing is to get high return seedlings. The more the farmers are able to produce, the better for everyone along the value chain.
“And for the textile companies to have a viable production, it is important to have improved cotton seedlings, and that is why we enjoin our farmers to use improved seedlings and mechanisation to improve their production from about two tonnes per hectare to about five tonnes per hectare. If we are able to produce, we will be exporting to other countries including China.”
Earlier, leader of Chinese experts, Mrs. Shuying Wang said the team was in Nigeria to assist the country in all the cotton value chain for improved and sustainable economy, adding that Nigeria has the potential to be a global destination of quality cotton.
Regardless, in spite of high security risks on the Birnin Gwari route, a governorship aspirant and former Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammed Sani Sidi, has visited Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state; to consult with party leaders, key stakeholders and delegates. Sidi claimed other governorship aspirants in the state are afraid to tour the area because of insecurity.
“I was advised several times against going to Birnin Gwari; due to security concerns. I was advised to invite party executives and delegates to Kaduna for the meeting, but, I declined. I choose to take whatever risk to identify with you during these trying times,” he said.
While addressing a cheering party and campaign supporters during the consultation meeting in Birnin Gwari, Sidi said he was in the local government area to commiserate with the people for many lives lost in recent times.
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“We are here to share in your pains and agonies. We are here to commiserate with you over what you have been going through. I am genuinely concerned about your plight. As a person, I feel highly burdened to comfortably sit in Kaduna and invite you. No responsible person should seek the mandate of a people he cannot visit. And that is why we are here; to assure you that the insecurity in this area will form part of our key priorities. if God gives us the opportunity to lead you,” he stated.
In their seperate responses, political and community leaders pledged their support to Sidi ahead of party primaries.
Chairman of stakeholders of the party, Alhaji Abdulkadir Jibril said “Sani Sidi’s presence was very symbolic as he is the only aspirant to Birnin Gwari…”