By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) has called on government to massively invest on agriculture and solid minerals; saying this will sustain the economy and provide employment for jobless youth in the country.
The called followed the recent report by the National Bereau of Statistics, (NBS) that Nigeria has crawled out of recession.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Biu and made available to newsmen on Thursday, said the call became necessary based on the figures contained in NBS report which showed that the economy’s exit was spurred by improved performance in the oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade sectors of the economy.
It stressed that for government to sustain the economy and provide employment for jobless youth in Nigeria, there is need for massive investment on agriculture and solid minerals and advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to rest on his oars until the living conditions of ordinary Nigerians are improved through sustained economic policies and prudent management.
The statement reads in part: “Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) welcomes the cheering news that the Nigerian economy is presently out of recession based on the figures contained in the report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“The report showed that the economy’s exit of recession was spurred by improved performance in the oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade sectors of the economy. It also indicated that with improved local and international investments, the economy will be better.
“ACF notes with delight that the economic policies and programs of the Buhari’s administration is yielding some positive results. However, ACF urges the Federal Government not to rest on its oars until the living conditions of ordinary Nigerians are improved through sustained economic policies and prudent management.
“This should include consciously directed effort to merge forex markets in order to reduce round tripping and improve the value of the Naira. Furthermore, Government should invest more in agriculture and solid minerals exploration in the hope they will provide job opportunities to our teaming youths and also our foreign exchange earnings.
“ACF also wishes to commend the Federal Government for its political will to resuscitate the Mambilla Power Project that was abandoned over 45years ago. With the Government approval of about $6.0billion contract to a Chinese consortium, it is hoped that on completion, the Mambilla Hydropower project will add more megawatts of electricity to the economy and also boast our agricultural revolution that will increase food production, employment opportunities, food security. This will also conserve forex needed for importation of raw materials and machine for our industries.
“ACF, therefore, urges the Federal Government to sustain its worthy commitment to this project within its contractual schedule by providing its counter-part funding obligations and payment of appropriate compensation to the communities that will be affected by the project.”