The All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that the North Central region of the country was losing billions of naira annually due to lack of an economic development agenda despite its abundant natural and human resources.
Sulaiman Wambai, the national vice chairman of the Party in the north central zone, who spoke at a north central zonal mini convention of the party on Saturday, July 27, 2019, said states in the zone must evolve strategy towards regional integration and economic development.
He said that the zone which comprised Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Niger and Benue states should tap into its abundant mineral deposits to give the nation an alternative to oil revenues.
The APC chief also said that governors, lawmakers, ministers and party leaders from the zone must also come together through strategic engagement in policies and programmes that would benefit the people in particullar and the country in general.
he stressed that global economic development showed clearly that the immediate future of Nigeria depended on the zone because of its abundant natural resources rather than oil in the South-south which the country currently relied on.
He said, “While it is true that we rely mainly on oil from the South-south geo-political zone for national revenue, no one can deny the fact that the North Central remains the food basket of the nation. There are a lot our states can do and achieve together if we work closely to take advantage of our resources. We can gain a lot economically if we use our location to our collective advantage.
“Each of our state in the zones has better and bigger arable land than Kebbi state. It is a surprise that billions of Nigeria money is being deployed to Kebbi state through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower Programme for agriculture and rice production.
“Our zone should naturally attract these billions with the land we have to grow rice. Our state government can take full economic advantage of this through collective bargaining. We lose huge revenue that could come from our location because we currently do not have a North Central agenda for economic development. We are due for an economic summit in the zone. We urge our governors to look into it.”
he described the North Central was the most politically stable geopolitical zone to the ruling party compared to other zones and deserved better placement in appointments.
“If we want to mitigate the full contribution of our zone to be equitable with our reward, we need to have a better and more improved synergy with our legislatures, governors, as well as the party; by doing so, we would take full advantage of the national policy by getting better ministries, agencies and parastatals,” he added.
While acknowledging Lafia, Nassarawa state capital as the headquarter of the APC North Central zone, Wambai proposed that for administrative convenience, an office be cited in Abuja for secretariat work and meetings.
Lanre Issa-Onilu, the national publicity secretary of the party, was formally ractified at the mini convention for the position for which has functioning since the exit of Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi who defected to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
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