Northern elders to discuss economic, security agenda with FG
Northern elite under the aegis of Arewa New Agenda (ANA) are set to engage the Federal Government with a set of proposals on how to stem insecurity and poverty, especially in the North and the country in general.
According to the elders, the proposals, if considered and implemented, would pave the way for lasting prosperity for the entire country.
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Yayale Ahmed, revealed this at the opening of the “Follow-on Conference on Tackling Poverty in Northern Nigeria” in Abuja at the weekend.
ANA Convener, Ahmad MoAllahyidi, presented the proposals to the elders that included former governors- Isa Yuguda and Sani Yerima-; Jonathan Zwingina, Babangida Ngoruje, former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi; Fatima Adams and Chairman, National Hajj Commission, Jalal Arabi.
Ahmed said: “As elders, we agreed and submitted to the service of Nigeria and to the upliftment of the northern part of Nigeria, not because we are broken but it’s because we are realists.
“We want to change our style and strategies in dealing with the issues and problems of northern Nigeria.
“Our responsibility is not to just say the Government is not working, government must work through our contributions, the government must be responsible through our being responsible, the government must be committed through our commitment.
“We are a patriotic group of Nigerians, the outcomes of these efforts will be communicated to the people that are in power for improvement of the generality of the people.”
ANA also emphasized the need for the Federal Government to actively support the North in leveraging the Nigerian Start-Up for Businesses Act of 2022. This, it said, would enable companies in the region to conduct research, provide training, and develop globally impactful products.
The proposals, according to ANA Convener Ahmad MoAllahyidi, are Pathway to Prosperity Approach, Farming and Agriculture as well as the establishment of Integrated Enterprising Productivity Inclusion Platforms in each of the 19 Northern states.
On Farming and Agriculture, ANA proposes the expansion of arable land in the country to 65 percent within four years.
ANA also plans to see 10 million jobs created for youth and other demographics through the Integrated Enterprising Productivity Inclusion Platforms.
MoAllahyidi said: “The model has the potential to generate over N50 trillion cumulative per capital income annually, while insurgency, banditry, and other social vices will be reduced drastically.
“It will also boost our foreign reserve earnings and stabilize our economy
“Training of youths on renewable energy systems (solar, wind and biomass) as a component of livelihoods enhancement and a response to climate change.
“Passing on the gift is a social intervention concept and the anticipated result from the scheme is to service up to 1,000 households per state for the 19 States.
“Another proposal is the tissue culture for propagation of seedlings which is a simplified neglected intervention. This is a concept that builds an average of two million seedlings a year using micro-propagation.”
ANA also appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider some policy measures, such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanctions on Niger Republic, particularly the closure of borders.
It noted that the reconsideration was necessary due to the negative implications for the economy of the states in the North.