The Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, at the weekend raised concerns that about N3.3 billion Songhai Agricultural Project introduced by his predecessor in office, former governor Ibraim Shema, has failed.
Governor Masari disclosed this when he received the board and management staff of Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) in Government House Katsina.
He highlighted some of the problems of the project to include poor implementation, lack of in-depth diligence on the location and time of the project as well as its big budget and small returns.
“The principle is good but implementation is where we feel our predecessor did not get it right. If you are bringing technology, bring technology that can fit in with the people you want to serve. You don’t create an island in the ocean, so it become.
“We are looking for a Public – Private – Partnership arrangement for that place. So, whatever arrangement that will bring some relief in terms of revenue to the state and also take off the pressure, I think, is a welcome development and I hope you will find the place beautiful,” he added.
The governor, however, revealed that both the NNDC and Federal University Dutsin-ma that have declared their interest to use the centre as a training unit and faculty of agriculture respectively would bid for it.
On the funding shortage hampering NNDC operations, Governor Masari said the surest way to assist it is for the governors to put in guarantee for credit facilities to support the NNDC.
He said: “From what you have said, raising the share capital of NNDC becomes imperative if we want NNDC to represent the North and to participate fully. We know it, but it will be very difficult for government of Northern Nigerian today to put in money.”
Earlier, former minister and chairman of the management board of the company, Alhaji Bishir Dalhatu, told the governor that the board and management staff were in Katsina as part of their efforts at re-engineering the impetus the company was established by founding father of Northern Nigeria, late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardaunan Sokoto, to achieve in terms providing conducive economic empowerment for Northerners.
(Culled from Leadership)