Abuja, March 21, 2017(TNE): Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said on Tuesday that the massive road
construction in the state would boost wheat and rice production.
Ganduje told State House Correspondents in Abuja that Kano State is currently the nation’s highest wheat producer, while his government was ready to support rural farmers with input, access roads and marketing activities.
According to him, this gesture is in response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s focus on agriculture.
”In order to do that, we have to encourage commercial agriculture; and in Kano, wheat, rice and tomato are three important products.
”That is why we are providing the enabling environment for wheat farmers because it is the season for harvesting wheat.
”We succeeded in providing improved seeds, mechanisation and also the market for wheat and I think the wheat producers are very happy.
He said that having conducted a survey on rural road needs, the state government arrived at more than 1,000 km of villages and communities that lacked access, making it difficult for farmers to move their produce.
”We have taken the first 500km and we have started constructing the roads down to the villages, some of which are cut off by rivers, streams as well as erosion.”
”By creating accessibility and mobility for the rural areas, you find that they will be able to increase their commercial activities; also, provision of health services, education and even security is being improved.
”That is why we are concerned and that is why we created the Rural Integrated Programme.”
Ganduje said that the state was achieving its target in spite of the recession, by cutting down on the cost of governance to save money for developmental programmes.
”We have to reduce the cost of governance by reducing the number of ministries from 19 to 14 and also by paying only half salary and allowances to all political office holders.
”That is what we are operating now and also, we reformed the internal revenue generating agency, which is now independent.
”Our revenue has greatly increased because we discovered that only 10 per cent of those who are supposed to be paying tax are paying; but now we have increased our net to bring in all tax payers.”
He added that the administration had begun to tax the rich to improve the lives of the poor.
The governor also said that in order to encourage people to pay taxes, the administration adopted a lot of strategies, thereby ensuring that all capital projects are funded from internally generated revenue.
”We always put a sign-board that `this project is sponsored by the tax that you have paid’.
”So, that gives a lot of encouragement to the people to pay taxes,” Ganduja added.(TNE)