COMMUNIQUE OF THE 1ST ECONOMIC SUMMIT OF HIMMA BA TA GA RAGO INITIATIVE, HADEJIA ON “EXPLORING RESOURCES FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF JIGAWA NORTH-EAST SENATORIAL ZONE” HELD AT THE SCHOOL OF NURSING AND MIDWIFERY, HADEJIA, FROM 25TH – 26TH DECEMBER, 2020
The First Economic Summit of Himma Ba Ta Ga Rago held at the Auditorium of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Hadejia, Jigawa State with the theme: “Exploring Resources for Socio-Economic Development of Jigawa Northeast Senatorial Zone”.
The summit provided a platform where issues that matter most in the development of the zone are discussed. Participants were attracted from all walks of life, Academics, Public/Political Office Holders, Traditional Institutions, Trade Associations and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The First Day of the Summit was chaired by Prof. Haruna Abdullahi Birniwa who inaugurated the Five (5) Roundtables that discussed the following topics:
- Poverty Amidst Abundant Resources: Reflection on Available Resources Around Hadejia.
Chaired by Prof. Usman Haruna
- Harmonizing Tax Collection in the Informal Sector to Improve Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs).
Chaired by Prof. Hannatu A. Sabo
- Facilitating Access to Finance and Youth Empowerment.
Chaired by Prof. Mahadi Makwayo
- Utilizing the Digital Economy as Means of Enhancing Self-Employment.
Chaired by Prof. Babawuro Usman
- Recurrent Flooding of River Hadejia: Causes, Effects, and the Way Forward Chaired by Prof. Muhammad Auwal Hussain
The second day was chaired by Alhaji Tijjani Musa Isah (Dan Masanin Hadjia). The Special Guest of Honour was H.E. Malam Umar Namadi; the Deputy Governor, Jigawa State, while the Senator representing Jigawa Northeast; Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia was the Guest of Honor. His Royal Highness the Emir of Hadejia; Alhaji Adamu Abubakar Maje (CON) ably represented by Sarkin Fulanin Hadejia was the Royal Father and the Chairman Hadejia Local Government; Alhaji Abdullahi Maikanti Muhammad was the Chief Host.
- Roundtable Discussions
- Presentation of findings and recommendations of the five roundtable discussions by the table chairmen
- Presentation of Keynote Speeches:
- H.E Malam Umar Namadi the Deputy Governor, Jigawa State
- Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia
- Malam Kashifu Inuwa DG, NITDA
- Pharmacist Hashim Ubale Yusufu
The Summit observed as follows:
- that poverty remains endemic and pervasive across the Senatorial District.
- that the result of various programs implemented to alleviate poverty by government at all levels, NGOs and development partners are not making the desired impact. This might not be unconnected to the lack of clearly defined policy framework and guidelines for poverty alleviation, political interference, corruption and lack of continuity.
- that the zone is endowed with numerous natural resources including minerals that if adequately harnessed can provide reliable sources of revenue to the government and employment to the people.
- that the major causes of poverty among the populace are:
- Lack of awareness and proper utilization of modern ways of doing business.
- Limitations in the productive sectors such as traditional agricultural practices and inadequate agro-allied manufacturing industries in the zone.
- Farmers-herders conflicts resulting in loss of lives and consequently affecting farm produce.
- Frequent flooding and drought that have devastating effect on agricultural production across the zone.
- Inadequate incentives, misapplication and general misdirection of government support and subsidies from the appropriate beneficiaries.
- Lack of adequate awareness and information about financial and empowerment opportunities.
- that Jigawa State government has made some efforts to harmonize and improve internally generated revenue from the informal sector with a view to sanitizing the revenue system. Nevertheless, there are still a number of challenges including:
- Lack of comprehensive statistics/data regarding revenue potentials of the state.
- High cost of revenue administration
- Low level of taxpayer education
- Low tax compliance
- Inadequacy of qualified revenue/tax officials
- Inefficient revenue collection system
- Tax Collection Officials lack requisite technical competence and are often compromised
- Lac of transparency and accountability in the way taxes/revenues are collected and spent.
- that there have, for the past couple of decades, been several programs designed to empower youth with skills and finance for small and medium scale enterprise star-ups at both national and state levels. However, Youth from this zone might have especially in the past—and perhaps even today— missed out on many life-changing opportunities due to lack of information, awareness and hosts of other reasons.
- that youth can be classified into two groups: Rural, un-informed and uneducated youth who are the majority and the Urban, educated and semi-educated youth
- that in providing access to finance and empowerment programs, stakeholders (government agencies and CSOs) need to consider the rights, opportunities and privileges to the beneficiaries.
- that the government and CSOs across the zone did not adequately engage organizations like Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Bank of Industry (BOI), relevant MDAs and others that provide access to finance for youth.
- that less attention was given to the roles of ICT (Digital Economy) in providing sources of employment and in simplifying production processes.
- that the only viable program in the state was the one organized by NITDA in which some aspects of smart farming was introduced.
- that there is the need for changing the mind-set of the people to accept new technologies.
- that successive governments have made some commendable efforts towards preventing flooding and mitigating its effects. However, much needs to be done in this area by governments and other stakeholders.
4.0 Resolutions and Recommendations
At the end of the Summit, the following resolutions and recommendations were adopted:
- on alleviating poverty across the senatorial district, the summit recommends as follows:
- Massive youth sensitization, trainings and empowerment programmes to unveil the existing opportunities.
- Revitalize Agriculture as an engine of growth.
- Harnessing various mineral resources for economic development of the zone.
- Ensure adequate supply of power by identifying and utilizing alternative sources such as solar radiation to generate more energy that can promote productive activities.
- Reactivate Baturiya Game Reserve and Bayajidda Historic Village at Garun Gabas as a tourist attraction centres.
- Complete Hadejia Valley Project to expand and ease agricultural activities
- Finding a lasting solution to the problems of flooding and drought through protective measures and developing flood and drought resisting crop varieties.
- Strengthening research and development so that government policy can be based on research.
- Government should reconsider the case of the abandoned Hadejia Sugar Factory as another source of employment.
- To accomplish the objective of harmonizing tax collection in the informal sector, the summit resolved that all stakeholders (Local Government, Revenue Administrators and Payers) should play the following roles:
- Local Governments:
- Demonstrate accountability, transparency and prudence in the management of public funds.
- Provide conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
- Make tax laws comprehensible, and have such laws translated into local language.
- Impose stiff penalty for noncompliance while providing incentives for regular payers.
- Make fees/charges affordable to the payers to reflect existing economic realities.
- Implement the already harmonized tax collection laws and make periodic review of the laws.
- Revenue Administrators
- Maintain a comprehensive and up to date database of all tax/fees/payers.
- Carry out regular enlightenment of taxpayers on taxes/fees/charges payable, and as to why, when, how and to whom they should pay.
- Modernize tax administration by automating the operations and processes.
- Carry out regular tax audit with a view to ascertaining the level of tax compliance and putting in place measures to minimize noncompliance.
- Simplify the payment procedure
- Demonstrate professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities.
- Engage the Leadership of Market Unions in the collection process.
- Use Public-Private Partnership in the process.
- Tax/Fees payers
- Be patriotic and honest
- Shun greed and selfishness in their tax affairs.
- To provide access to finance and empower the youth, the summit recommends for governments and CSOs like HIMMA to embark on:
- Awareness campaigns for the youth on information related to access to finance and empowerment programs through, Radio TVs, Social Media Platforms
- Training programs
- Social gatherings such as exhibitions
- Advocacy campaigns to stakeholders such as traditional rulers, policy makers, CSOs, finance providers, business development service providers: SMEDAN, NALDA, NIRSEL and etc.
- Reaching out to extension service providers and our Federal Character Commissioner.
- Introducing Islamic financial services to reflect the peculiarities of the zone.
- To utilize the digital economy in promoting self-employment the summit recommends that,
- stakeholders should pick some business ideas as a pilot and promote same using information technology.
- Train youth on computer and graphics design
- Train youth and small business owners on e-marketing
- Incorporate information technology in our traditional arts and design industry such as the Garko Pottery Industry.
- To solve the problems of flooding the Summit recommends as follows:
- Complete the of Hadejia Valley Project which will help in diverting the water to the farm.
- Resettle the area which are vulnerable to flooding such areas include towns like Ganuwar Kuka, Yamide, Gatafa, Shawara, etc.
- State government should partner with Federal Government and International Agencies in ensuring river DE siltation.
- Enlighten the public on the danger of farming along the river bank.
- Secure license for the recently established trimming radio at BEC, that will help in enlightening farmers on the weather situation and any other information regarding the rainfall pattern each year.
- Cooperate with neighboring states of Bauchi, Kano and Yobe in order to help in solving the problem.
Himma Ba Ta Ga Rago Initiative expresses its profound appreciation to the management and staff of the host institution, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Hadejia for the wonderful reception accorded the participants. Our sincere appreciation also, goes to the Chairmen of the Sessions, Chairmen of the Roundtables and all the participants who spare their time to resourcefully contribute in the deliberations. Gratitude is also extended to the co-sponsors of the Summit; Hon. Makki Abubakar Yalleman, Malam Kashifu Inuwa, Pharm. Hashim Ubale Yusufu, H.E Malam Umar Namadi, Bar. Ahmed Gambo Saleh, Dr. Nuruddeen Muhammad, Alhaji Tijjani Musa Isah, Hon. Sagir Musa Ahmed, Muhammad T. Muhammad, Hauwa Aliyu Umar, Musa Gambo Guri, Bala T.O and a host of others for providing invaluable support for a successful Summit.