Governor Yahaya Bello has inaugurated the Kogi State Economic Advisory Council to be chaired by the former Chairman of the state Internal Revenue Service, Aliyu Inda Salami.
Recall that Salami Mr Salami was appointed as the Executive Chairman of KGIRS in December, 2018 and was removed alongside his board team barely a year after.
However, Governor Bello has returned Salami in the new high-powered economic team virtually inaugurated on Monday.
Bello urged the members to tap into the abundant human and mineral resources in the state to guide the state into prosperity.
The Governor said the members of the Economic team were selected based on their pedigree and track record, urging them to “open new doors of opportunities towards economic diversification.”
“As you know, Agriculture was the pride of the nation before the discovery of oil, in the 60s, but the coming of it, utterly neutralized the gains in Agriculture and stalled the progress in other sectors, as well. The entity called Nigeria is so naturally blessed, with the potential to be one of the leading countries in the world but the circumstances of oil and all the issues around it, has made this very difficult to realize.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that crude oil, in Nigeria, is suffering declining relevance and may actually become extinct, with the passage of time or become totally irrelevant, due to improvements in renewable energy over environmental concerns.
“In 2016 and 2020 respectively, Nigeria was ushered into a recession over the collapse of the price of crude oil. This, for me, underlines the fragility of our economy and, indeed, a wake-up call, that we must begin to think beyond oil, if we are to be sustainable, as a nation and, by extension, if we are to survive, as a state.
“As you know, Kogi State is vastly blessed with human and natural resources, that are yet to be optimally harnessed for the good of our people. The available data indicates that we have over 29 solid minerals in commercial quantity.
“In addition, we are blessed with the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, we are a gateway to the FCT, we are bordered by 10 States including FCT, we are blessed with considerable arable land, we are blessed with potentially world-class tourist sites, we are blessed with leading cash crops such as cashew, cassava, rice etc, we are blessed with high profile industries such as Ajaokuta, Itakpe Iron Ore, Obanaja Cement Company, we can go on and on. We cannot and must not, therefore, be complacent, in the face of these enormous blessings and see our people, our State struggling with basic necessities of life.”
He informed the Council that the rationale behind the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara was to create local capacity and strategically position the state to take advantage of the abundant mineral resources she boasts of.
The Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council, Mr Aliyu Nda Salami while responding on behalf of the other members, thanked the governor for the intrinsic confidence reposed in them, saying they have resolved to hit the ground running and change the fortunes of the state for good.
He said the governor has taken the right step by bringing together, a crack team to move the economy of the state forward.
The Council’s membership is a testament to the intimidating profiles of Kogites in different spheres of endeavours.