By James Emejo
Managing Director/Chief Executive Mr. Abba Bello has said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will soon be signed between the bank and the Taraba State government as part of efforts to achieve the zero-oil plan of the federal government.
He said the plan seeks to boost investments in the non-oil export sector through partnership arrangement with state governments under the State Export Development Programme.
Speaking when he received the State Governor, Mr. Daruis Dickson Ishaku, who paid him a visit to conclude modalities for the partnership, Bello noted that the initiative was created to promote at least one exportable commodity in every state of the federation towards achieving the federal government’s zero oil plan and the initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to create one million jobs annually.
The MD stated that a partnership with the state will not only support current export drive, but also contribute towards mitigating some of the security challenges in the North East and prepare the region towards effective participation in the continental market under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The governor’s visit was necessitated by the need to discuss and deliberate on the modalities to collaborate with the bank to upscale production and boost the export of the vast array of agricultural and mineral resources in the state.
Ishaku, however emphasised the efforts of his administration to develop the economic potentials of the state, adding that it is one of the highest producers of major cash crops in country with capability to export agricultural products including tea, coffee, palm produce and cocoa.
In a statement, he noted that the state was well endowed with solid minerals including gold, lead/zinc, coal, byrite, lithium, uranium and bauxite, which could be developed for export.
He said the tourism industry, perhaps represented it’s the biggest potential given the clement weather and Mambilla Paleau, which is the highest in the country.
Furthermore, both parties agreed to work together to unlock the opportunities, towards boosting the contribution of the state to non-oil exports and the economic diversification objectives of the federal government.