by Adim Esohe
The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari has reiterated his commitment in ensuring that the state’s economy gets a boost in order to attract both local and foreign investors.
At a recent economic summit held in the state, Masari, before President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team, reiterated that Katsina was endowed in both natural and human resources and called on the captains of industry and other investors not to miss the opportunity to invest in a promising Katsina with a view to laying an even solid foundation for the growth of the state and also have value for their money.
He goes ahead to highlight the various plans geared towards government spending less while also ensuring optimal use of both the human and natural resources the state is endowed with.
Read the full report titled “Espousing the Katsina dream” below:
Coming back from a business trip to China and India a fortnight ago, where he had gone to attract investors as well as showcase the potential that abounds in Katsina State, Governor Aminu Bello Masari said he had been better prepared on how to boost the economy of his state.
He said, “Now, in the health sector, we have already placed order for equipment for three general hospitals. We have also made an advert for the recruitment of over 600 medical staff. And right now, we have employed them in our Special Hospitals to offer professional services. Now, we are doing that, even in other sectors.
“For instance, in our own University – the Umar Musa Yar’Adua University wants to start offering medical courses and you cannot operate a department of Medicine without a standard Teaching Hospital. For this reason, we wrote to the Federal Ministry of Health, because Gombe was given a Federal Medical Hospital and it was updated to Teaching Hospital.
“Ebonyi was also given. So, on the basis of these two experiences, we wrote and the Federal Ministry of Health replied us that they could not, because they also have a federal institution right in the future in need of services of a Federal Medical Centre. Now, I came back home, and say to myself: why can’t we start looking at what we have and see how we can upgrade them.
So, we invited our own professionals, and again, we have also invited international consultants, that will come and see how we can harmonise working with their own professionals because like I told you, once you have somebody who was a Managing Director of a Teaching Hospital for eight years, and as a Vice Chancellor of a University for eight years, he is sufficiently equipped.
“You have somebody who is managing a Teaching Hospital now in Sokoto who is also from Katsina; we feel he is sufficiently experienced to offer advice. And we have a Professor, also from Katsina, who was the immediate past Vice Chancellor and has headed the ABU (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria), Teaching Hospital. These three and from between them, they can give us a report that nobody can beat. And the good part of it is that it will be free-of-charge because they are Katsina indigenes. So, we are working.”
Continuing, he said “we are also looking at upgrading the Dental Clinic in Daura to international standard. From what we have done to that Dental Clinic already, we can even do a Degree programme there on Dentistry. So, if we look at raising that Department; and with an Eye Centre as a department, we can have a very good Teaching Hospital that can serve our own University, which we believe is better. It may take us two to three years, but it is better, and that is what we are starting now. We are projecting to have a Teaching Hospital that we can call our own, that can work with our own university.”
On Agriculture, Masari said “We are making serious progress. The Deelthputy Governor is the chairman of the Agriculture Team. He is also the Commissioner in charge of Agriculture. We also brought in a professional, who was a consultant to various international organisations on Agriculture, Dr. Abba Abdullahi. I must tell you that I am impressed by what they are doing now. They are doing a ground work.
“You know, agriculture is not all about fertilizer because mere distribution of fertilizer is all about ceremony, which the governors are very interested in doing so that the cameras and media will capture them. Here in Katsina, we are doing the most important work now. We are doing the census because we want to know who-is-who. We are identifying the real farmers; we are identifying the farm lands; we want to know which type of fertilizer is suitable for the farmlands and which implements are suitable for the farmlands. We are doing the basic ground work, we have sufficient money in place; and when we are through with the ground work, we will also start rehabilitating some of the smaller dams.
“When we were campaigning, what we were saying was that given the availability of resources, it is our intention to provide a dam in each of the Wards, intending to open the availability of small steam that can engage between 30 to 50 farm lands on irrigation agriculture. So, for us, we need a comprehensive study.
“Like we said several times, this government is not, and there is no intention of approaching any project blindfolded so that we can achieve quick and unsustainable political gain. That means we want to play to the gallery. No. We want to be realistic, we want to be true to our words. Basically, we have to do what is right; we want to lay a solid foundation for a more sustainable agriculture in Katsina State.”