My 3-year plan to combat poverty & ignite prosperity for governor Fintiri

Fintiri.
Fintiri.
My 3-year plan to combat poverty & ignite prosperity for governor Fintiri

By Calvin Anadio Lawan

Your Excellency, permit me to start off with this aphorism “nothing comes unbidden,” as sure as the shadow is, there also is the substance. That which comes to us is the product of our deliberate and intentional deeds.

One year of your 4-year 2nd tenure has gone, you have 3 more years to go. In these 3 remaining years, you have a unique opportunity to transform our state in to a hub of prosperity and breadbasket for Nigeria.

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To attain this lofty goal, you must prioritize our physiological needs by leveraging our comparative advantage in agriculture, livestock, and tourism.

With an arable land area of 36,917 square kilometers making us the 8th largest state by land area in Nigeria, we are blessed with vast agricultural potential. Yet, despite our rich resources, 68% of our projected 5 million population suffer from severe poverty, struggling with food, healthcare, and housing. It’s time for a change.

Our GDP stands at ₦5.3 trillion-2023 estimate, ranking us as the 18th largest economy by GDP in Nigeria. Sadly, these numbers don’t reflect the reality of our people’s daily struggles. The majority of our citizens are living below the poverty line, lacking basic necessities. This dire situation demands immediate and strategic action.

To halve poverty in the next three years, I suggest you focus on creating employment through our natural strengths: Agriculture & Tourism. Given the current economic realities not only in Nigeria but the world at large, we can take a more modest yet impactful approach, we can start by utilizing 50-75 billion Naira as counterpart funding to attract additional investments.

Here’s what I am driving at Sir:

First off, our fertile land is perfect for growing both food and cash crops-rice, maize, cotton, beans, corn, sugarcane etc. By investing in modern farming machineries and techniques as well as providing farmers with the necessary tools and education, we can significantly increase crop yields. The surplus will definitely attract investors to build Agro-allied industries in the state thereby creating more employment and revenue for our state.

I was thinking we could budget about 20 billion Naira for purchase of modern farming equipment, 5 billion Naira in training programs for farmers and 10 billion Naira to improved irrigation systems. That is to say 35 billion Naira for this aspect.

Secondly, we are renowned for cattle and other livestock. Developing a robust livestock farming can create jobs and boost the local economy.

I was hoping we could make budgetary provision of 5 billion naira for veterinary services and animal health programs, another 10 billion Naira for building modern abattoirs and meat/dairy processing facilities, and 3 billion Naira for farmer training in livestock management. That’s a total of 18 billion Naira.

Lastly, we have an untapped tourism potential with its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Developing this sector can attract visitors and create numerous jobs.

Here, you have done a tremendous job in your infrastructural development drive and that’s highly commendable. What we need to do is budget 2 billion Naira for marketing and promotion campaigns to attract tourists and another 1 billion Naira in training for tourism-related services, a total of 3 billion Naira.

In order to achieve these goals, we need a total investment of 56 billion Naira over the next three years. I know sir, how do we secure the funds, permit me to suggest workable ways to do that:

The first thing to do is redirecting a portion of our annual budget towards these initiatives. Recall I wrote at the beginning of the year admonishing you slashed the budget allocation to your office and that of your deputy? Yes, I feel we can also look through other agencies and slashed some of those budgets and add to these plans.

Second, some percentage of our FAAC should be reserved for this purpose as well as applying for FG assistance and grants aimed at agricultural and tourism development.

Third, you should be at the forefront encouraging local and international investors to participate in our development plans. I wrote to you some time ago about the enormous potential in the milk and dairy industry not just in Nigeria alone but the global demand. I know people who can help in getting foreign investors specifically for this purpose.

Fourth, I have stressed out the fact that debts are an integral part of public finance, as such seeking low-interest loans and grants from international development organizations for this purpose is in order.

What are the expected outcomes?

By investing in these areas, we can create thousands of jobs in agriculture and tourism, increase food production, ensuring food security for our people, boost our state’s GDP through enhanced agricultural and tourism activities, improve living standards, reducing the poverty rate by at least half. By doing this, you will be leaving a legacy as the leader who has created a model for economic growth and prosperity in the North East in particular, and Nigeria at large despite the ravages of terrorism and insurgency.

Your Excellency, the path to prosperity for us lies in harnessing our natural strengths and that strength is agriculture and tourism, it’s my hope and prayer that your administration will commit to this vision and work hard to build a better future for all residents of Adamawa State.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours, Calvin Anadio Lawan.

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