By Bukar Bolori
Yobe State Government on Thursday unveiled plan to build modern markets in parts of the state and to reinvigorate the economy of the North East state.
Speaking to a delegation of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Yobe Governor, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, said having gone a long way in repositioning the education, healthcare, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors of the state because of the believe that these sectors have the most impact in the life of the citizenry, “we would continue to invest in them and turn them around so that the entire people of the state are the better for it.”
He said however going forward, “we intend to expand economic opportunity for people across the state by constructing additional modern markets in more towns of the state,” noting that the construction of the Damaturu Ultra-Modern Market is already making significant progress.
He said: “As part of the effort to bring about more economic development, we are pushing ahead with the construction of the Damaturu International Cargo Airport so that we can tap from its potential to make our state a hub for the export of agricultural produce. We are looking forward to commissioning the airport in two months from now.
“We have also resuscitated three of our dormant factories, namely the Woven Sacks factory, Sahel Aluminium Company and the Yobe Flour and Feed Mills. We are now seeking for partnerships to build a cement factory in the state. We have trained hundreds of youths in paint production and automobile repairs so that they can establish or expand their businesses.”
Buni said: “All these would surely go a long way in promoting the economic development of our state.”
He added that “for civil servants in the state, we have implemented the new Minimum Wage of N30, 000.00. Our worker-friendly policy would continue to ensure that civil servants get their salaries, pensions and gratuities regularly and consistently.”
He said: “I want to say, however, that our meeting here today comes at a time of great challenges for the economy of our country overall. The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease, which has now been described and categorised by the World Health Organisation as a global pandemic, has continued to affect world markets and global supply chains.
“Naturally, international oil prices have been affected too. Along with the recent disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s biggest oil producers, the coronavirus pandemic has now pushed down crude oil prices to levels not seen in nearly 20 years.
This is very consequential. First, as an oil producing nation ourselves, our revenue flows from oil sales have also dropped. It seems reasonable to suggest, therefore, that for the foreseeable future, the amount of money that could be available to government for service delivery would be affected too.
“Second, the significant drop in oil revenues would naturally force a re-ordering of priorities and would compel government, both at the federal and state levels, to look inward and to seek to diversify our revenue sources.
“I want to call on the NLC to show greater understanding and support as we navigate through this very fiscally and economically difficult times. I want to assure you that in keeping with the economic policies of the APC-led federal government, the Yobe State Government would continue to take every possible measure that would ensure workers’ welfare and the welfare of the generality of people across the state.”