Hon.Muhammad Magaji is the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Gombe State House of Assembly. In this interview with LEADERSHIP Friday, he expresses happiness with the award of LEADERSHIP Governor of the year 2015 received by Governor Dankwambo. He also discusses other issues.
The governor,His Excellency Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is the recipient of the Leadership governor of the year award for 2015.What can you say about this?
We are very excited about this award because it is coming at the right time and the governor really deserves it.
What do you think has earned him this recognition?
The performance of the governor in the past five years I believe is what has earned him this award.He has done quite well in almost all the sectors ranging from infrastructure,agriculture and others.To us the indigenes of Gombe we believe he even deserves more.We are particularly happy that this award is coming from LEADERSHIP Newspapers because it has always nominated people and organisations that have distinguished themselves.The award is not just for anybody and we feel privileged that our amiable governor is being recognised for his good work.I want to commend the management and staff of LEADERSHIP Newspapers for taking the role of a leader.This award will encourage other governors,corporate organisations and others to do more in order to be given this kind of recognition.
The state just celebrated 20 years of its creation. How has the state fared in the last two decades?
I am glad to tell you that Gombe state is far more developed than some states that were created before it.The credit goes to the governor whose five years tenure has witnessed a lot of development.We are proud that despite the recession the state has not and is not owing civil servants salaries unlike what is happening in other states. I am happy to tell you that salaries are being paid as and when due.
You are the chairman, house committee on agric, how do you think the federal government can address the present recession, especially by depending less on oil and concentrating more on agriculture?
I will like to advise our dear president to form a think tank which will be made up of people who are authorities when it comes to agriculture and the governor should be part of that team.They should together with Mr president look at the way forward.The government has been harping on agriculture as a way out of recession ouside oil.It should not only be on the pages of newspapers but it should be practicalised.The farmers should be assisted with all they require from improved seedlings to fertilizers and other agro products.Farmers should get these at the right time,March precisely and not after planting that they do not need them.
Also,farmers should be assisted with soft loans with single digit interest.And lastly,goverment should create the market for farmers to sell their produce.Once these are done,people will not bother much about oil.
What is your opinion on the grazing reserve bill being deliberated upon presently by the national assembly?
Grazing reserve bill is a bill that should have been passed long before now.If the bill is passed and assented by the president it would help in addressing the farmers/ herdsmen clash.Our legislators are competent and they should be able to scrutinize it and do the necessary thing to be done for the bill to passed.The farmers are lucky because the Senate Committee Chairman on Agric, Abdullahi Adamu is a big time farmer and also former president of Nigerian farmers whom I believe knows the problem of farmers and the farming community.