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Vice President visits Emir Argungu following death of Islamic cleric



  • Hails President Tunibu for approving N50bn for 5 Northwest states for infrastructure development

From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi

Vice President Kashim Shettima has hailed President Bola Tinubu for approving N50 billion to assist five states engulfed by the menace of banditry in the Northwest for infrastructure development.

Shettima disclosed this during a condolence visit to the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammad-Mera in his palace at Argungu over the death of prominent Islamic Scholar, Sheik Abubakar Giro, who passed away on Wednesday.

He explained that President Tinubu had a very good intention to assist the people of Northern Nigeria, especially the Northwest where armed banditry and kidnapping were rampant.

Shettima who named the states to benefit from the fund to include; Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna, said that due to politics, Niger and Benue states were also co-opted.

He said that Kano and Jigawa States are not directly affected like those five states he mentioned.

While assuring that 1,000 houses would be constructed across the affected five states very soon, Shettima said the project would either start from Sokoto or Kebbi.

He said the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, has also promised to lend two Dandoreach which had the capacity to drill boreholes up to 2000 meters, adding that they need only to buy other working tools to commence work.

He added that the governor also pleaded to give five Centre P-board Irrigation equipment, “and I have already raised 2 million jumbo cashew seedlings in Borno and we shall start moving them to Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and other Northwestern states.

Shettima described Kebbi as a rich state with deep loamy soil conducive to cultivating a variety of crops, noting people had no reason to be poor.

According to him, already discussed with the Kebbi Governor about a $163 million loan from the African Development Bank for the cultivation of wheat is ongoing and assured that the loan would be given to any state that distinguishes itself in that direction.

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He said:  It is not going to be like the Anchor Borrower Scheme, interested states will be given fertilisers, seeds, and solar-powered water pumps, and by Nov. 10 we shall start planting wheat. If Kebbi can provide 10,000 hectares of farmland we are ready to take off.

“We have resolved to start with 50,000 hectares in Jigawa because the state has enough land to give us and the state is relatively peaceful. The state government will train extension workers who will go around to ensure that our people understand modern farming.

“This is because the area used to produce six tonnes of rice per hectare unlike other places producing only one tonne per hectare,” he said.

While wooing support for Governor Nasir Idris’s administration to succeed, Shettima appealed to the people of the state to support the governor and President Tinubu because of their good people’s oriented policies and programmes that would change the lives of people for the better.

According to him, “APC administration in both state and federal levels have good intention for this country, they have series of plan on how to eradicate poverty amongst our people which can only be achieved with you support, cooperation and peaceful coexistence,” he noted.

Earlier, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Muhammad Samaila Mera, appreciated the VP for the visit and described the journey as a religious one, praying that God Almighty would reward him abundantly.

He disclosed that the governor has started well with the good leadership on a sound foundation that would take the state to greater heights of development.

Mera stated that infrastructure facilities, education, health, empowerment, agriculture and security as some of the major areas of priorities of Governor Idris stressed that all the areas would soon witnessed pragmatic transformation.

In his remark, Governor Idris thanked the vice president for the condolence visit to the state over the demise of Shirk Giro, assuring that all the developmental projects he had started was as a result of mentorship from the VP.

He recalled that N2.8 billion worth of fertilisers were procured and distributed free to farmers, N9 billion was earmarked for road construction in the state capital and N10 billion was also approved for the completion of the state’s ultra-modern secretariat to bring all the state civil servant into one place.

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