Niger ,Benue Rivers: North’s Untapped Mass Wealth Creation Sources -Experts
A Consortium of concerned professionals of Arewa extraction from diverse professional background has said that Rivers Niger and Benue have untapped tremendous social and economic development potentials for the region in particular and Nigeria in general.
The assertion is contained in a package titled “Towards a Competitive Economic Development Agenda for Northern Nigeria”, unfolded in Kaduna by the Co-ordinator of the Professionals, Arch. Gabriel Yakubu Aduku at a Two Day Conference organized by Sir. Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation.
Operating as YG-Consult, the professionals said they are convinced that developing suitable projects along the rivers could lead to the transformation and modernization of the cities, towns and villages along the rivers.
These projects include, irrigation and hydroponic farming, modern and self sustaining new towns and neighborhood, Acquaculture supported by extensive Fish Canning, Water Transportation, Tourism and International Water Sports, Development of Inland Ports, Manufacturing Park for Renewable Energy Systems and Livestock Grazing supported by extensive meat processing facilities.
The professionals are of the strong belief that these projects would generate considerable wealth and create numerous jobs for the teaming population of Arewa in particular and Nigeria in general.
Explaining the vision and responsibilities of the YG-Consult, Arch. Aduku said it will facilitate the planning, development management of projects in partnership with state and local governments as well as local and international investors.
The envisaged responsibilities, he explained, include promoting and market projects to Local and International Investors, Development Finance Institutions, promote equity participation and investment of states and local governments in the project to reduce their reliance on federal allocation.
Arch. Aduku who also spoke on the possible stakeholders of the projects, their roles and responsibilities, said the Federal Government and its agencies will amend and harmonise related laws to support the development of the project, while states and local governments allocate land required for each project as their equity.
He said under planning strategies, the YG-Consult would among others adopt a Metropolitan Development and Management Plans to guide the development along the two rivers to be named Niger River Metro Plan and Benue River Metro Plan respectively.
Arc. Aduku re-emphasized that the Metro Plans would promote social and economic interdependence of the new development, with their surround towns and cities constituting a single economy and labour market.
The Coordinator told the conference that the formation of YG-Consult was further motivated by the policy pronouncement of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari including its determination to diversify Nigerian economy away from the dominance of crude oil.