Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku on Wednesday said more intervention in the agricultural sector by development partners and other stakeholders is the only way to truly revive and diversify the Nigerian economy.
Governor Ishaku who said this at the community of practice meeting held in Jalingo noted that the dependence on only oil as the mainstay of the economy over the years has negatively affected the system and made the economy susceptible to a lot of challenges that could have been prevented if other sectors of the economy were developed.
The state deputy governor Alhaji Haruna Manu who represented the governor at the occasion held in Jalingo said that his administration was already making a huge investment in the sector and called on the visitors to explore investment possibilities in the enormous potentials of the state in agriculture, tourism and mining.
“The management of oil revenue has over the years proven ineffective in driving much-needed development. It has therefore become imperative for all of us to look for ways of diversifying the economy in order to stay afloat in the ever-changing world. With current global reality, we must embrace alternative income sources both as a nation and component states especially in the areas of agriculture, mining and tourism.
“Taraba State is blessed with limitless opportunities in these sectors. You will discover in the course of your meeting that the vast fertile land, diverse climatic conditions and massive active workforce in the state have made it a perfect hub for investment in the key sectors of agriculture mining and tourism. Nearly every crop is cultivated in the state including tea and coffee, apple and avocado, sesame seeds and other vegetables, yams and cassava, maize and soybeans, plantains and bananas among several others.
“Consequently, my administration has made it a top priority to empower our people to go into mechanised agriculture by providing farm inputs and improved seedlings and other incentives to our farmers. We are already in touch with relevant agencies and the private sector to boost the processing of some of these products at the home front. Our potential in rice production is probably second to none.
“That is why I consider this meeting as not only timely but also very crucial. At the end of your meeting, I hope that you will return to your various states with the zeal to begin serious work towards investing in the potentials that our dear state offers” he said.
Earlier, the state’s commissioner of budget and planning Mr Solomon Elisha said that the community of practice “is a forum where State Commissioners of budget and planning meet to enhance their capabilities in performing planning and budgeting functions, facilitating peer hearing and supporting structures and processes that will aid them in strengthening their professional relationships and networks”.
Elisha disclosed that the meeting with the theme ‘Beyond oil: optimizing agro value chain for economic prosperity at the national as subnational levels post COVID-19’ draws participants from the 36 States of the federation and offices of budget and planning and other critical stakeholders in the sector as well as development partners.