Senate President Bukola Saraki on Wednesday in Abuja appealed to all the geo-political zones in the country to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Saraki made the appeal when the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) National Executive Council, led by former Inspector General of Police, Dr Ibrahim Coomassie paid him a courtesy visit.
A statement by Sanni Onogu, Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, quoted Saraki as advising the North to embrace agriculture.
According to Saraki, the only way for the North to contribute meaningfully to the growth of the nation’s GDP and the diversification of the economy was for its leaders to methodically focus on mining and agriculture.
“In all countries that have gone through similar economic challenges like ours, recovery does not happen overnight.
“There will be initial pain but eventually the future will be bright. It is this journey that we should have embarked upon many years ago. We cannot run away from it.
“We cannot continue to depend only on oil. We must look at agriculture. Specifically for those of us from the North, agriculture is key.
“I also want to say that for the stability of any country, it is important that every part of the country is seen to be contributing to the economy.
“A country where it is only one part that contributes to the economy is recipe for disaster.
“For the stability of this country, it is important that we from the North must play our own role to contribute significantly to the GDP of this country,” he said.
He said that the 8th National Assembly was already looking at laws to improve the business environment.
Saraki reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to passing the 2016 budget proposal on March 17.
Earlier, Coomassie had told Saraki that the visit was meant to sustain and consolidate the cordial relationship that existed between the ACF and the Senate since 1999.
He congratulated the senate president on the inauguration of the 8th Senate and described the National Assembly as an epitome of democracy.
“May I also acknowledge the support and cooperation the executive arm of government enjoys from you.
“This is clearly demonstrated by the speedy screening of the ministers by the Senate and the consideration of the 2016 Appropriation Bill which the National Assembly has pledged to pass before the end of this month.”
He expressed ACF’s readiness to support the Senate in its oversight functions to ensure transparency.(NAN)