By Abraham Olatokunbo
This follows discussion between Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum and a team of experts at the
headquarters of Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) in Khartoum, Sudan on Sunday.
A statement by the governor’s spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau on Monday said the discussion resulted in partnership potentially reached between the bank and Borno State to partner on exporting wheat and gum arabic produced by farmers in Borno.
According to Gusau, Zulum was received by the bank’s Director General, Sidi Ould Tah, and other top executives.
He said the governor arrived the Sudanese capital at the weekend alongside Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Agriculture, Bukar Tijjani, a Borno indigene, who is an expert on international agricultural development, commissioner for local governments and emirate affairs, Sugun Mai-Mele, Chairman of Borno’s Mega Farms Project, Inuwa Kubo, as well as the governor’s Adviser on Sustainable Development, Partnerships and Humanitarian Response.
The statement revealed that Borno is one of Nigeria’s leading producers of wheat and gum arabic, while the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) was established by 18 Arab countries (the League of Arab States) in 1973 and began operations in 1975 with the objective of strengthening economic, financial and technical cooperation between Arab countries and African regions through financing opportunities for economic development in African countries.
Gusau said Governor Zulum, while at the bank highlighted with video documentary produced in Arabic language, the challenges Borno has severely faced as a result of terrorism attacks on communities as well as the ongoing rebuilding and economic recovery efforts with huge opportunities in agriculture, given the state’s vast and fertile land resources for irrigation and rain fed agriculture.
The governor’s team proved Borno’s potential as a major producer of wheat and gum arabic, among other food and cash-crops, seeking partnership for increased value chain and export, to tap into the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development in the bank’s operational structure.
The bank’s team, which earlier made overview presentations on Nigeria’s wheat, gum arabic and date palm productions, obliged Governor Zulum’s request with discussions to go towards identifying specifics for both parties and implementing them.