Dr Abdulmalik Durunguwa, a governorship aspirant under the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, says that rural transformation is key to sustainable economic growth and development of the state.
Durunguwa, a Commissioner of the National Population Commission, said this while interacting with newsmen recently in Kaduna.
He said there was need for massive investment to improve rural economy with a view to empower women and youths as well as set the state on a path to sustainable economic growth and development.
Durunguwa also said that the economic potential of the state was not fully tapped because of the over concentration of development in urban areas at the expense of the rural areas which had large population.
According to him, rural areas hold the key to unlock the state’s untapped economic potentials due to the huge number of productive youths, agricultural land, and other untapped natural resources in rural communities.
“The youths are currently migrating to urban centres in search of jobs because there is nothing to keep them economically busy in rural areas.
“However, the youths will stay in their villages and make cool money if the government provides economic opportunities for them in rural communities,” Durunguwa said.
He explained that with adequate investment in the agricultural sector, Kaduna State would become an agricultural hub in the country, considering its fertile land, ground water, adequate rainfall, and suitable weather conditions.
The commissioner noted that agriculture was the largest employer of labour in the state, and it contributed more than 37 per cent to the state Gross Domestic Product.
He said that sector, if well tapped, could transform rural economies, reduce insecurity, and become the main source of revenue for the state.
On healthcare, the APC chieftain said that the rural healthcare delivery system equally needed serious investment to be able to provide quality healthcare services to rural dwellers.
He added that attention was equally needed in the education sector to build the productive skills and capacity of the population to contribute meaningfully to the development agenda of the state.