Katsina keys into federal government’s diversification agenda

 State Governor Aminu Bello Masari urged security agencies and healthcare professionals to ensure compliance with the directive.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state has expressed the readiness of his administration to remain compliant with the federal government’s diversification of the national economy against overdependence on petroleum products.

Masari made this assertion when he received a federal Commissioner of Revenue mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal commission, Professor Isah Mohammed who paid him a courtesy call at the Government house, Katsina on Monday.

The Governor recalled that in 2014, prior to the general elections and after assumption into office he had cause to inform people of Katsina state then that overdependence on the federation account would not help the state.

He recounted the history of old Katsina province under the Northern Nigerian government and the performance of the native authority that supported the police, judiciary and educational institutions with agricultural produce.

“The native authority was then paying wages to staff and as well contributing it’s qouta to Northern Nigerian government. The native authority was also providing infrastructure, thereby even competing then with Kwara province in the region”.

“If katsina could perform such a feat with agricultural produce, diversification would pave way for revenue to be obtain to stop depending on the federation account”, he posited.

He contended that even the civil war was financed through agricultural produce then, stressing that the boom in oil prevented the growth of agricultural produce in the region.

With politics, he said politicians abolished the payment of taxation and even those who abolished taxes are now regretting, adding that, the psychological negative effects of abolishing taxation made people to view payment of taxes in whatever form as oppressive.

“With that, it took away the sense of responsibility and sense of ownership from the people, because in the federation account, the states were receiving huge amounts then”, he added.

“In 1987 when Katsina state was created, the population was not more than 3.7 million people against the over 7 to 8 million people presently occupying the same land space thereby competing to co-habitate with domestic and wildlife”.

The Governor recalled that at inception, the APC administration organized an economic summit to attract investors in agriculture, saying that Dangote and BUA were allocated with lands as a follow-up to the summit.

He said Songhai farm was leased to Dangote while BUA was allocated a land to establish a textile factory in the state.

The Governor assured that the state government had continued to put structures to widen the revenue base of the state.

He however lamented that the twin problems of insecurity and Covid-19 had slowed down the state from enhancing it’s revenue base.

Earlier, the federal Commissioner, Professor Isah Mohammed who is a one time vice chancellor of universities of Calabar and Abuja told Governor Masari that they were in Katsina for a stakeholders meeting in support of the Assessment tour of Economic Diversification projects and programmes initiated by the Revenue mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal commission.

Professor Isah Mohammed recalled that over the years, many states, including the federal government have grown to become highly dependent on revenue from one source, which is oil and gas.

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