HUMAN / NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENTPost Comment HUMAN / NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT Nigeria
Human Resources: Gombe State has, for long, been the commercial nerve centre of the entire NorthEast subregion. It earned this reputa t tion not only because of its central location in the, region but because of the highly enterprising nature .' of its people. Commercial activities range from the household retail trade to the large wholesale distributive trade on various commodities. Major articles of trade in the state include both agricultural and manufactured goods.
Indeed, commerce is the I second highest employer of labour (after agricul ture) in the state. I Gombe State has dedicated, loyal and hard working civil servants and well developed social t and infrastructural facilities. In addition, she has I egalitarian, enterprising, hardworking, very loyal and peaceloving people.
Hence, the State is , named the "Jewel In The Savannah." I Many people in the state are also engaged in the service industries, especially in the informal sector of the economy. Fashion designing and tai loring, hair dressing, catering, motorcycle transportation, entertainment, hotel offlicence, build
ing/construction and roadside motor vehicle repairs, are among the numerous smallscale busi ness activities in the state. Indeed, today Gombe State has at least one distributor/dealer for all the known manufacturing industries in the country.
Agricultural Resources and Development: Agriculture engages well over eighty per cent of the state's active population. Agricultural improvement is emphasised in the state. The World Bankassist ed Agricultural Development Project (ADP) has been quite successful, as rural farmers have bene fited and now produce surplus food and cash crops.
Gombe State is blessed with abundant agricul tural land. It is estimated that sixty five per cent of the total land area is cultivable, out of which about fifty per cent is currently cultivated. Agrobased raw materials produced in the state include cereals, legumes, tree crops, industrial crops and livestock and fisheries (Table 15.15 and 15.16). As shown in Table 15.17, the total production is very substantial for each of the major crops.
Gombe State has abundant agricultural raw materials. Large quantities of crops are produced annually in the state, and mostly exported to the nearby States of Nigeria. There are two privately owned cotton ginneries in Gombe, viz; Gombe Oil Seed Processing Ltd, (GOSEPL) and Frontline Oil (Fom). MANTO Processing Company Ltd was established at Kurno to process mango and tomato using the large quantities of these fruits produced locally in the state. By October 1998, the Factory had been about ninety per cent completed.
The potentials for farming in Gombe State, are quite high, hence the area was one of the earliest in the northern states to enjoy the presence of the World Bankassisted development projects. The idea to establish a project in the state was first nur tured in 1972 when a World Bank identification mis sion visited the site. After that, an appraisal team visited the area from September to October 1973, with the approval of the Federal Government and the defunct North Eastern State Executive Council.
Since then, the project has aided the improve ment of agriculture in a variety of ways. For instance, it has enhanced the agricultural extension system, the opening of rural areas through roads construction, provision of water using pumps through the construction of earth dams and by drilling bore holes, and small scale irrigation in fadama areas in the state.
One of the agencies charged with execut ing some of the agricultural programmes is the Gombe State Agricultural Development Project (GSADP). All the eleven local governments in the state have benefited from the project. Towards agricultural and rural development in the state, Government has attracted and encour aged other World Bankassisted projects and icie (Nigeria) programme and 5th Country Cycle.
The usi World Bank assistance is employed in the state's Forestry Eleven Project, Fadama Development the Project, Agricultural Technology Support Project, Livestock Development Project, and Cooperative Education. UNDP assistance is committed into ?nt: Mass Literacy Statistical Information System, the Women in Development, Environment and Natural.
Resources, Small and MediumScale Enterprises iist and Aid Management for greater effectiveness. In has addition, the external assistance is also used for the Community Development, Sports, Youths Development and Heath Projects in the state.
Rural development efforts in the state also aim at cul sustainable agriculture, sustainable livelihood, jobs it of creation and IEC among others. The state receives «out many migrants from Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and raw other farnorthern states into her rich agricultural als, area.
The Gombe Grains Depots: This famous itial grains depot whose history is as old as the leg endary groundnut pyramid of Kano is not only the raw number one grains market in Gombe State. It is ced also the single existing grains depot in the entire the NorthEast subregion of Nigeria.
Large quantities ely of maize, sorghum, millet, beans, groundnut Oil (peanuts), and benniseed, among others are Oil brought to the depot daily from various markets in /vas the state for onward purchases and shipment by iato dealers to all the major towns and cities of Nigeria ced for both domestic and industrial uses.
The Gombe Cotton Ginneries and Gombe are Oil Seeds Company: These produce processed iest cotton lint and cotton seed used by various tex the tile/spinning mills, vegetable oil processing and ani The mal feeds producing industries in Nigeria. iur Potentials for sugar industry exist in Balanga where is the Cham dam provides irrigation water. ?am )
Mineral Resources and Industrial Develop and ment: More than thirty different minerals have been icil. identified in various locations in the state. (Table )ve 15.2). For Some of them have been explored and are cur sion rently being utilised by the few industries present in ads the state. Ashaka Cement Company Pie. utilises nps the limestone and gypsum deposits in the State for by cement manufacturing.
The Company was estab ) in lished in 1974 jointly by the Nigerian Federal and Government, the then North Eastern State govern cut ment and various private sector investors. The the cement factory was completed in 1979 at a cost of ject about N145m. Today, it is capable of producing up the to 850,000 tonnes of cement per year.
There are also the Uranium Prospecting Company in Gombe; it in Deba Glass Factory which uses locally available sil 3ur ica sands in Jalam; and Dukson Ventures (makers and of Tass Soap and Pomade). There are smallcalentry lime works in Gombe. Precious aem stones exist inNIGERIA the hilly tracts of Billiri, Kaltungo and Balanga LGAs. Only a small proportion of the State's population is engaged in manufacturing or mining activities.