This article attracted mammoth reactions from my readers. It is a sign of goodwill for the Katsina State governor-elect, Dr. Umar Dikko Radda, a round peg in a round hole, an agricultural extensionist in an agrarian state dearly craving salvage. What a timely happening. In the next few days, he will be inaugurated as the first PhD holder, democratically elected to occupy the seat of Katsina state governor. Can he make a positive difference in the lives of Katsina people? Can he outshine others who came before him? He has a catalog of overwhelming challenges but he is also well groomed, educationally, administratively, and experience-wise. May the Almighty Allah see him through. Now, here are selected readers’ comments on the Article, “Irrigation Glorious Future for Katsina State”. Happy reading.
This is an excellent article written by an intelligent, mighty, hardworking, and excellent Prof. Your articles are always overhauling, developing, and challenging my reading and writing spirit. Sir (Prof), I wish Dr. Dikko Umar Radda a sound and successful administration (full of collaboration, hardworking and wisdom) that will focus on revamping and refurbishing the agricultural sector. It is worthy of reading and sharing (a rare gem). More golden inks to your golden pen, Si r(Prof). – Abdullahi Abubakar
Dear Prof, the expectations are huge, Sir. The agricultural potentials of Katsina, Kano, and other northern states are huge. I pray he succeeds where his predecessors failed. – Omar Bello Ahmed
We need our governments to finish all irrigation infrastructure across the country. – Dan Dakata
I was crying over the abandonment of the Owena Dam (20 km from Akure, Ondo State) and the loss of it is potential to boost domestic water supply and irrigate over 2000ha for over two decades now. I thought I should cite it as some of the dysfunctional relationships between the governments in Nigeria. I thought no public waste and underutilization of resources can be greater. You have just proved me wrong with these revelations from Katsina. To think these too have been left for decades, I feel more distress and anguish for our beloved country. The lack of planning, and waste is an economic crime almost at the same level as crude oil pipeline vandalization. It stinks to high heaven. We are massively importing foods and crying for the mass unemployment of our youths. – Dr Richard Akinbamowo
If only those in power can initiate and use some of the advice given, empowerment would be easy access by many. – Musa B Bindawa
This article is very timely and written when it is most needed at the point of a history-making epoch of a transition to a new government. The government is headed by an erudite and dynamic, young, progressive intellectual, Dr. Dikko Radda who has had relevant experience in both academia and in the public sector. As Chinua Achebe said in his book “The Trouble with Nigeria “. He said, “The greatest problem with Nigeria is lack of good leadership, competent and knowledgeable leadership”. This time around, the issue of competent leadership in Katsina seems to have been settled with the election of Dr. DIKKO Radda. Katsina indeed dodged a radioactive bullet by not electing the candidate of the major opposition political party who could barely hold himself in everyday conversation and talk less of governance. Competent Leadership is one of the greatest drivers of development and this time Katsina got it right. For many years, the Nigerian leaders have been enjoying the largesse of the oil boom and its creation of a rentier and prebendal class of parasites and blood-sucking compradors, at the expense of Agriculture, the mainstay of the Northern economy, which has adversely impacted the wealth and wellbeing of Nigerians particularly, the northerners.
One of the greatest achievements of the present government is its resuscitation of Agriculture to the forefront with agriculture contributing more to GDP than oil for the first time in 45 years. This revival of Agriculture was a saving grace for Nigeria coupled with the closure of our borders during the covid 19 pandemic otherwise the famine that Nigeria could have experienced would have been catastrophic.
The optimum and maximum utilization of these water resources must be given priory overall so that the pyramids will return for cash crops and other agricultural products. The government in collaboration with locals should set up cottage industries to process the outputs from our farms to create wealth in our communities. My advice to the incoming government is for the government to complete the Solar energy farm at Tashan Rimi which will generate enough power to supply the state and even neighboring states and for him to complete the TransAfricsn highway linking Nigeria to Niger Republic. This highway will serve as a gateway for the enhanced production of agricultural produce and widen the markets for the produce both nationally and internationally. This will help greatly in the return of the pyramids to the north and will also help Katsina to return to its preeminent position as a hub and entrepôt for the trans-Saharan trade of the olden days. Meanwhile, the completion of the Wind Power project will provide energy for the establishment of cottage industries in collaboration with local farmers and will also provide the enabling environments for even multinational companies to establish manufacturing and processing plants.
Prof, the advice you have offered here has universal application and should not necessarily be confined to Katsina state but to all Northern states whose economies are mostly rural and agrarian. In this light, I will advise that the Northern Governors should fight for the return of the marketing boards which should act as a buffer for farmers in times of both bumper harvests and famine and act as a stabilizing force in times of lean harvest and buffer harvest through stabilizing both prices and incomes of farmers.
In the same vein, the Northern Governors should put as its priority the establishment of a Commodities Exchange for produce in which products could be brokered globally. Such an exchange already in Gezawa in Kano state seized by the state from the former Accountant General of the federation could be used temporarily as a take-off location for the exchange.
My final advice is that these numerous dams should all be under a single management which should be able to use the dams to generate power which should be sold at subsidized rates to the locals for their domestic and industrial This will make the fans to be self-sustaining financially. – Dr. Hassan Ahmadu
The unfortunate thing about Jare dam at Bakori is for all these years nothing has been done apart from staff living shelters. – Keshe Bala Bakori
Certainly, investment in agriculture is the best of all. However, as captured by the enviable Prof, it depends on selecting or employing the appropriate model, constituting the rightful team and prudence in the management of resources!! Wish the Governor best of luck. – Dr. Mohammad Makeri