PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTUREPost Comment PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE Nigeria
The developmental propects of Yobe State principally lie on her abundant human and naturalresources. In particular, the mineral and agro based resources that have remained largely untapped would be a great source in industrial growth for the State. The government has, over the years, set policies and laid down the necessary infrastructural facilities for attracting investors in the industrial sector.
With a combined raw material deposit of 855.7 million tons, Yobe State is no doubt a haven for future industrial activities in Nigeria. The extensive deposits of limestone in the state could support the establishment of medium and large scale industries but are still largely under utilised. Gypsum is another mineral deposit that has high potentials for contributing to the industrial development of the state.
Presently, many people around Potiskum, Fika, Fune and Gujba are privately employed in the exploitation of gypsum. The mineral water source at the Dofaga spring in the Gujba area, whose annual yield is estimated at over 320 million cubic litres, can support the establishment of a water bottling company. The agrobased resources like gum arabic, groundnut, cotton and grains of various types, also have potentials of attracting investments to the state. For example, gum arabic of the highest grade in the country, could be the raw material .
Thus far, there is not a single industrial establishment in the state, engaged in the exploitation of this highly sought raw material. The vast flood plains of the Yobe and Hadejia Rivers provide important sources of water for large scale irrigated farming. This can be done actively through private initiatives and government support.
The proper harnessing of the plains for rice and wheat cultivation is capable of satisfying the food needs of the threatened desert prone population. The North East Arid Zone Development Programme (NEAZDP) has been put in place to provide basic modern infrastructural facilities and extension services to the teeming rural population in the state. The Nguru wetlands conservation project is another agency that is charged with the responsibility of enhancing the development of agricultural activities.
The wetlands provide important grounds for fisheries in addition to its tourist and research potentials. Thus, the development of Yobe State will heavily depend on its ability to attract industrial investors that are capable of harnessing the diverse resources to benefit the people of the state. It is suggested that continued government involvement in agriculture be prioritised to boost food production. Environmental education on the uses of land is also desirable to forestall the rapidly advancing desert conditions.
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