Former Nigerian minister of industry, Chief Kolawole Jamodu (FCA), from Kogi West, a Nigerian lawyer, investor and business magnate, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, from Kogi West and Harvard-trained Dr. Ronke Bello, also from Kogi West and 33 others have been inaugurated by the Kogi State Government as members of the Kogi State Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
The 36-member committee, which was inaugurated by Governor Yahaya Bello of the state on Monday, is expected to provide advice to KGSG on issues related to growth and development at the Local and State Government levels.
Governor Yahaya Bello stated at the inauguration of the committee that Kogi State is vastly blessed with human and natural resources, that were yet to be optimally harnessed for the good of the people, and that the available data indicated that the state had over 29 solid minerals in commercial quantity.
“In addition, we are blessed with the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, we are a gateway to the FCT, we are bordered by 10 States including FCT, we are blessed with considerable arable land, we are blessed with potentially world class tourist sites, we are blessed with leading cash crops such as cashew, cassava, rice etc, we are blessed with high profile industries such as Ajaokuta, Itakpe Iron Ore, Obanaja Cement Company, we can go on and on.
“We cannot and must not, therefore, be complacent, in the face of these enormous blessings and see our people, our State struggling with basic necessities of life. We have done well in securing our people, we must have to make a corresponding progress in the socio-economic arena, by far more than we are currently doing, so that our people can live in a secure and prosperous environment,” he said.
The Governor pointed out that the Economic Advisory Council is a creation of law, and that it is expected “to strengthen our institutional arrangement, for a durable socio-economic development.
“Let me emphasize that, our idea behind the establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, is to create local capacity and skills that will enable our people to be major players in our God given resources, such as Ajaokuta Steel Project and many others. There is no way we can grow our State without developing our people.”
Announcing the members of the committee, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, said that “as a bold move to stir a revolution in the economy of Nigeria’s most promising state in terms of natural and human resources, the Government of Kogi State has made an audacious move to set up an Economic and Advisory Council.”
Fanwo revealed that the rationale behind setting up the EAC was to provide evidence-driven decision-making and rigorous evaluation of the economy.
The Council, he said will systematically take stock of the most recent trends in economic development, applied economic methods, poverty analytics, evaluation methods, and modeling, measuring, and evaluating development interventions.
“An all-embracing purpose of the Economic Advisory Council will be to sharpen the Kogi State Government’s analytical methods and capacity in support of continuing development effectiveness.
“The EAC will provide advice to KGSG on issues related to growth and development at the Local and State Government levels and this will include: New perspectives on economic development; Innovative approaches to economic growth;
Innovations in Program and Project evaluation; Poverty and Income Dynamics;
Social and Infrastructural Development and the economics of gender; and
Other innovations in the field of development economics, growth, and evaluation.
“Convening experts in an advisory role will serve to inform the KGSG on the success of its economic program development and measurement of results, shape future policy decisions and methodology, and enhance economic programs and economic growth,” he said.
He stressed that the EAC will serve as a reference group for assessing and advising on methodological directions and innovations for the economic improvement of the state.
Other members of the committee are Mr. Aliyu Inda Salami, Chairman Central, H.E Amb Olusiji Godwin Aina, Alternate Chairman West, Chief Engr Joseph Makoju OON, OFR (FNSE) Member Central, Dr. Aheruvoh David Ohiku, Member Central and Dr. Emmanuel E. Onoja, Ph.D, FCA Member East
Also in the committee are Chief Abdulrazaq Isa Kutepa, Member West, Mr Segun Adaju, Member West, Prof. S .I. Ocheni, Ph.D, FCNA Member East, Mr. Ola Oyelola Member West, Musa Itopa Jimoh, Member Central, Mr. Isah Shaibu Member Central, Prof. Seidu O. Muhammed, Member East and Mr John Obaro, Member West
Included in the committee are Mr. Lawal Itopa Lamidi, FCA Member Central, Dr. Isah Abdullahi, Member East, Prof. Sule Jafaru, Ph.D Member East, Dr Audu Dangana, Ph.D Member East, Prof . John O. Alabi, Ph.D Member West, HE Amb. Shola Rafiu Enikanolaye, Member West, Prof. Suleiman A. S. Aruwa, Ph.D Member East, and Engr. Ismail Akaba Member Central.
Also appointed as Kogi EAC members are Mr. Thomas Etu, Member East, Alh. Abubakar Sanusi Gamji, Member Central, Ebi Atawodi, Member East, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, MD DBN Member East and Mr. Korede Adedayo, Member West.
The rest are Hajia Dr. Halima Alfa, Member East, Mr Gimba N. Baba Member Central, Dr. Suleiman Adejoh, Member East, Dr. Michael Abuh, Ph.D, Member East, Hajia Ladi Ibrahim, FNA Member Central, Prof. Joshua Okpanachi, Ph.D Secretary East and Mr. Abdullateef A. Bello, Recorder.