By Donald Iorchir
As Nigerian population continues to grow without commensurate industries and job opportunities especially in northern Nigeria, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has reechoed the need for governments and other interest groups to device ways of improving agriculture as the last hope for gainful employment opportunities to the millions of youth.
The governor, who hosted the Association of Bauchi State Indigenes resident in Abuja, lamented that farming which is the mainstay of northern has continued to dwindle while the population is fast growing without any strategic plan being made for the youth to be engaged.
A statement by the press secretary to the governor, Abubakar al-Sadique, he said:
“It calls for concern to see our population increasing with most of youth living without jobs or any other serious means of earning a living. We therefore must do something urgently to arrest this ugly trend because it is projected that by the year 2050, the population of Nigeria will surpass that of the United States of America. This is frightening and is partly responsible for the criminal activities that have been tormenting us for some time”.
Governor Abubakar disclosed that his administration has been striving to get agricultural activities in the state mechanized by providing simple and affordable agricultural implements that to the farmer.
According to him: “some of the implements we are struggling to import from the Czech Republic to our farmers have the features of tractors can do everything tractors do, but at one fifth of the costs of tractors. It is a simple and rugged implement that is easier to operate and suits our soil”.
The governor therefore urged all governments and other relevant interest groups to see youth unemployment as a serious problem, especially in northern Nigeria where the major employer of labour is agriculture and whose youth are leaving rural areas where it is mainly practiced to search for greener pastures in urban and work to reverse the situation.