By Comrade Bishir Dauda
23rd September, 2023 marked the 36 years anniversary of Katsina state creation, as it was carved out from the present Kaduna state on September 23rd, 1987.
The ancient Katsina kingdom emerged in the fifteenth century. Late Yusufu Bala Usman of blessed memory, disclosed this in his classic PhD thesis Titled: “The Transformation of Katsina: c.1400-1883”. I quote him verbatim: “The earliest reference to the kingdom of Katsina extant is in a letter written in the last decade of the fifteenth century from Cairo by the Sheikh Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Bakr al-Suyuti (1445-1505) to al-malik Ibrahim, sahib Kashina (king Ibrahim, lord of Katsina).
A description of the kingdom of Casena was given by the traveller Al-Hassan b. Muhammad Al-Wazzan (1465-1550) in account of his travels recorded in the 1520s”. THE POPULATION.
According to 2006 Census , Katsina state is the 5th most populous state in Nigeria.
God has blessed Katsina with good weather. situated in the Savanna and Sahel zones in Northern Nigeria , Katsina State’s fertile land gives her comparative advantage in many agricultural commodities, including Sorghum and millet. Maize is also cultivated in large quantities in the southern part of the state.
Furthermore, the farmers in the central and western parts of the state specialize in cassava and sweet potatoes farming. Other farm produce in which Katsina State has an advantage, include Beans, groundnuts, Zobo, Sesame. and vegetables. Pastoralism, trade and crafts that are part and parcel of the economy provide livelihoods to sizable number of the population, therefore, agriculture is the mainstay of Katsina state’s economy.
1. The most dangerous challenge threatening Katsina today is insecurity, the scourge of armed banditry and kidnapping has continued to jeopardize not only peace in the state, but also destroying the mainstay of the economy- subsistence farming and pastoralism. Kidnappings and killings have become daily occurrence to the extent that the state government is planning to allocate its entire budget to security.
2. POVERTY: To eat food in Katsina state today is a luxury, majority of the people are living a hand to mouth life. Many people are forced to begging already the state has been battling with malnutrition, according to Doctors without borders.
It is a survival of the fittest!
3.UNEMPLOYMENT AND INEQUALITY
Since many smallholder farmers have deserted their farms, serious pastoralism cease, there are no factories and only public sector provides employment; the result is acute unemployment. Seasonal migration from northern rural to southern urban areas is the only option to our teeming youth. On the one hand, hundreds of children, our future generation, cannot go to school. The youth are blocked from accessing higher education, therefore the gap between the haves and have nots is widening .
As Katsina state turns 36 today, its leaders have a big responsibilities to provide opportunities to the youth. The government has to substantially invest in health and education.
There will be no future without education and health, but mark my word lumping money into a sector without commensurate monitoring and evaluation of the result is an exercise in futility. Every Kobo that is budgetted must be accounted for.
The political office holders have the duty to ensure prudent management of the public resources.
Revenue generation is key; but also how it is utilized it is more important. You can generate trillions of Naira, but only to be squandered by the aggrandizing elites.
Let the governor reduce unnecessary expenditure, including reducing unnecessary local and foreign trips, make procurement very transparent, fight corruption in its entirety, leverage on local and foreign grants and invest in education, health and poverty reduction Initiatives.
Comrade Bishir Dauda Sabuwar Unguwa Katsina