From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
As part of efforts to end insecurity in Kaduna State, the state government said it has concluded arrangements to build a dam on the 800,000-hectare forest between Buruku and Birnin-Gwari towns, which has in the past two decades remained haven of terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements.
Director-General, Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA), Ismail Umaru- Dikko, who made the disclosure at a Business Expo marking the commencement of the seventh edition of the annual Kaduna Investment Summit (KADInvest 7.0), said the dam project will not only address the security challenges in the state, but provide a permanent end to flooding in Kaduna metropolis.
This was as the Kaduna Capital Territory Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) to establish a film village within the Kaduna International Trade Fair.
The KASUPDA DG, who addressed potential investors during the business expo, also said the planned dam will also be utilised for agriculture, as the state would be tapping into it for irrigation farming during the dry season.
He said: “From Buruku to Birnin-Gwari, we have been experiencing armed robbery from time immemorial; it moved to cattle rustling and now kidnapping and banditry. So, we feel something must happen there. We have a very massive land that has never been utilised there, and that is why we cannot just fold our arms and allow criminals to continue to take advantage of the blessed land.
“So, we came up with the master plan and discovered that from Buruku to Birnin-Gwari, we have close to 800,000 hectares of land, which is about two states in another part of the country. We are creating a dam there. Presently, Kaduna is just like a drainage for the water, which is coming from Bauchi, passing through here to Shiroro Dam. The water, sometimes, causes floods here. So, as a way of finding a lasting solution, we will build the dam, save the water, address the flood problem and harvest the water during the dry season for irrigation farming.
“This, we believe, will also create jobs, most of the youths rushing to study business administration and accounting in the universities can go into agriculture. We will encourage the youths into agriculture, and that is why we brought the OCP fertiliser to partner the government in this direction. We also brought NEXIM Bank to see how we can export the produce from here in a big way,” he said.
Speaking on the proposed film village, The Administrator, Kaduna Capital Territory Authority, Hafiz Bayero, said the partnership is not going to build new structures, but leverage on the old Trade Fair Complex structures, which are currently under-utilised.
“We are looking to have a space in the trade fair complex, where people can come film movies and do their pre and post production and, also, move the movie to the international film market.
“What we need to do in Kaduna is to have a steady supply of technical hands in all aspects of film production. We will be setting up a film academy that would train people on top of the advanced technology which is involved in modern day film making, and Kaduna has the best landscape,” he said.
On the capital heritage project, Bayero said: “We are going to build Kaduna City History Centre, because Kaduna City has a very rich history. If you go to any city across the world, they have a place where they deposit history about the place. But here in Kaduna, in-spite of the rich history we have, we have been unable to document it and have it in one location where people can visit.”