Briefs on Katsina State
Katsina State was created on 23rd September, 1987 out of defunct Kaduna State. The State is situated in the extreme northern part of the country with two Emirate Councils of Katsina and Daura. The State shares borders with Kaduna State in the South, JIgawa to the East, Zamfara and Sokoto States to the West, as well as an international border with Niger Republic. Katsina is a mono-lingual and mono-ethnic State, as the majority of it’s people are Hausa/Fulani. The State occupies an area of 29,938 square kilometers lying between latitudes 110 7”N NS 130 32”N and longitude 60 52”E and 90 02”E with an estimate population of 5,267 million people based on the 2006 census and currently estimate of 7.60 million (2015 estimates) with the growth rate of 3.0% per annum.
There are thirty four (34) Local Government Councils comprising Bakori, Batagarawa, Batsari, Bindawa, Baure, Charanchi, Dandume, Danja, Dan-musa, Daura, Dutsinma, Dutsi, Faskari, Funtua, Ingawa, Jibia, Kafur, Kaita, Kankia, Kankara, and Katsina. Others are Kurfi, Kusada, Mai’adua, Malumfashi, Mani, Mashi, Maazu, Musawa, RImi, Sabuwa, Safana, Sandamu and Zango.
The weather varies according to the season of the year, but mostly it is cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon and cold again in the evening. The chilly harmattan weather lasts between November and February. The wind is dry from January to April, after which month, the arrival of rainy season is heralded which lasts up to October.
The major activity of the State is agriculture which is the main stay of the State economy as 80% of the total population is engaged in farming and rearing of animals. The major crops produced in the State are maize, cotton, groundnut, guinea corn, millet, rice, beans and soya beans, while livestock is essentially cattle, sheep, goats, fish farming and poultry.
During the dry season, people are engaged in irrigation activities mostly Fadama and river basin areas. Other economic activities in the State, though in limited scope, are Local Crafts (Blacksmithing and leather works), banking, transportation, small scale enterprises and commerce to mention but a few.
There are opportunities for setting up Agro-allied industries in the State such as tomatoes factories, flour mills, meat processing as well as leather works. Similarly, Katsina State has a high quality Kaolin for pharmaceutical & sanitary waste items, paper, paints and ceramic tiles. There are numerous other minerals in commercial quality and quantity.
The State Tertiary Institutions (Umaru Musa Yaradua University (UMYU), Al-Qalam University, Federal University Dutsin-ma (FUDMA), Hassan Usman Katsina (HUK) Polytechnic, Federal College of Education (FCE) Katsina, Institute for Continuing Education (ISE) Dutsinma, Yusuf Bala Usman College of Legal and General Studies (Y.B.UC.L.G.S) Daura, etc) provide human resource development for the State including Business Apprenticeship Training Centers (B.A.T.Cs) and Youth Craft Village which provide vocational training and skill acquisition to the teeming unemployed youth and women.
The priority areas as per the Restoration Development Plan are:
1) Agriculture & Natural Resources
4) Water Resources
5) Works, Housing & Transport
6) Resource Development
The State’s economy will be developed based on agriculture and solid minerals exploitation to create jobs and wealth through the utilization and mobilization of natural and human resources.
The main strategy of the plan is to look inward on the available resources and reach out to International Development Agencies to develop a healthy, educated citizenry that will drive the process of economic development in a just and equable manner. The plan is also made such that industrialization of the State through harnessing of agricultural produce and solid minerals potentials to add value to the economy guaranteeing jobs to the economy guaranteeing jobs to the State’s teeming youth and additional wealth creation for the country.
Explicit the rich historical heritage of the State to grow the State’s tourism potentials.
Rebuild historic gates to attract tourists to the State
Create linkages between the historical artifacts and rich cultural practices like the Durbars to grow tourism.
Exploit the various forestry and water bodies endowments to grow a thriving employment-generating holiday and business resorts to boost tourism.