Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai on Wednesday sought the support of the United States in developing the educational, health and agricultural sectors in the state.
He also called for foreign investments to create job for the youths in the state.
Speaking when he received the American ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, embassy officials and leadership of the Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce in his office, the governor said Kaduna state was battling with rural banditry and kidnapping caused by lack of education and job opportunities.
He explained that the Northern Nigeria suffered poor human indicators due to poor infrastructures across the region.
Governor El-Rufai noted that with the support of the state bilateral partnerships with United States, United Kingdom and European Unions, his administration was doing all it could to address the challenges and give the teeming youths in the state the opportunities they required to be successful.
He said, “Our partnership with bilateral organizations like US, UK and EU is key to our development in Kaduna state. I’m happy that USAID is in discussion with us in this state, we thank the US but we will ask for more.
“Kaduna State as the third largest state in the country, is the centre of learning and headquarters of the Northern States Governors Forum.”
He lamented that the north lagged behind their Southern counterparts with several poor human indicators.
“Thus there is need for intervention in health, education and agriculture to catch up with the south and give our young people the hope to develop because lack of hope coupled with ignorance can lead them to crime.
“We are battling with kidnapping, rural banditry and all kinds of criminalities due to lack of education, lack of opportunities for our teeming youths.
“Kaduna state has a population of nearly 10 million people 89 per cent of which are youth, what we need is to create jobs for them. We cannot create jobs without investment which is why we commended the Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce, the most active chambers in the state.
“We are conscious of the burden laid on us by circumstances but we are working hard to make the state greater with your support. We are here to collaborate for our state and country to make headway,” Governor el-Rufai explained.
The American Ambassador, Mr. Stuart Symington in his remarks said that he was in Kaduna state to listen, learn and go back to Abuja.
He, however, assured that the partnership with Kaduna State would continue because of the importance of the state to the North and Nigeria as a whole.