By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor
The Sokoto state government, says it plans to use the N65.7 billion loan being canvassed from local banks, on massive infrastructural projects as well as investment in critical areas of agriculture, health, housing, urban renewal, construction of roads and bridges and education.
The Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Abdussamad Dasuki, stated this while unveiling the state’s economic development plan at the management retreat of Sokoto State Ministry of Finance held in Lagos, at the weekend.
While stating that the state government is embarking on massive infrastructure development, aimed at making it an investment hub, the Commissioner explained that the proposed N65.7 billion loan, earmarked for critical projects in agriculture, health, housing, water resources and education, would fast-track the economic transformation of the state and position Sokoto as a leading economy in Nigeria and Africa.
Dasuki noted that central to the objectives of the Tambuwal administration were human capital development, remodeling of the state into an investment destination and establishment of enduring socio-economic infrastructure and institutions.
“Our efforts to transform the economy by making the environment private-sector driven, are already yielding many fruits among which include the attraction of the biggest fertilizer blending company in the world to Sokoto and the biggest rice mill by Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
“In addition, we are advancing the ease of doing business in the state by making it easier for established businesses to scale up and enabling new ones to spring up,” he said.
According to him, this would in turn translate to empowering families in the state and the effects would trickle down to everyone.
“We have witnessed rapid growth of business Enterprises, as more organisations now have the capacity to meet more market needs, resulting in increased revenue and a more prosperous economy,” he said.
The Commissioner also said that Tambuwal administration had reformed the Payroll Systems, which removed ghost workers and helped Sokoto to implement the new minimum wage of N30,000 for workers in the civil service.
“As a government, we believe it is important to invest in the education of our people. It is the greatest investment we can make towards the attainment of a more prosperous future. For this, posterity would be grateful to us. In this light, we have continued the renovation of secondary schools across the state. Already, more than 100 secondary schools have been remodeled and renovated. Recently, we completed an ultra-modern secondary school in Gudu local government area, which was previously the only local government in Nigeria with no secondary school.
“The Tambuwal administration has gone far in a social intervention program in which N4 billion has been set aside for distribution to indigenes of the state, to enable them engage in and enhance any business of their choice.
“In that regard, each and every indigene so selected got N20,000 each. So far, the disbursement has been carried out in nine of the 23 local government areas of the state,” Dasuki further stated.