Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that his administration would continue to create more job opportunities for the youth in the areas of agriculture and mining.
The governor made the pledge at the opening of a new animal feed mill, constructed by Sunseed Nigeria Ltd, in Zaria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it is the second animal feed mill unveiled in the state in last two weeks.
“The state is gearing toward diversification of its economy away from dependence on government by developing its natural endowment, especially in agriculture and mining.
“While mining will take some time to begin to give us the results that we need, agriculture can bring immediate results and this is why our investment policy in Kaduna state is focused on agricultural industrialization.
“Kaduna state is Nigeria’s leading producer of maize, Soya beans and Ginger, and we are also second in the production of Sorghum, Millet, Tomatoes, White Beans and Potatoes.
“Therefore every serious business in the world should be in Kaduna state,” he said.
The governor stressed that the target was to create jobs and take the youth off the street.
“As a government, the overriding economic imperative is to create jobs.
“89 percent of the population of Kaduna state consists of young people below the age of 35, and if we do not find ways to create jobs for them we will have a major social problem.
“This is why this administration is committed to attracting investment into the state so that we will have jobs for our young people.
“This plant and even the hospital are the contributions towards creating jobs in Kaduna state.
“Today we are commissioning a Five Billion Naira investment that will produce 100,000 tonnes of animal feeds yearly.”
The governor disclosed that the administration was working to enhance the capacity of farmers to produce rice and wheat, as well as a special beans consumed in India, which would be exported to that country.
He also said that the government was working with a group of investors to resuscitate the moribund Ikara Food Processing Company, adding: “We are working to privatise it fully to encourage investors and create more jobs.”Mr. El-Rufa’i commended the animal feed company for constructing a 15-bed hospital for use by its host community as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Mr. El-Rufa’i commended the animal feed company for constructing a 15-bed hospital for use by its host community as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Earlier, the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, said the opening of the company would add value to Federal Government efforts at diversifying the nation’s economy, as it would provide needed jobs to a large number of people in the Agric value chain.
The monarch called on the government to reintroduce marketing boards which would purchase farm produce directly from farmers for export.
He appealed to all Nigerians to live in peace with one another irrespective of tribe, creed, social and political affiliation.(NAN)