By Awayi Kuje
Panda – Some residents of Nasarawa State on Monday appealed to the state government to look beyond urban centres and focus on rural development in 2017.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Panda, Nasarawa State, the residents called on government to focus on rural development to improve lives at the grassroots.
A resident, Mr Moses Ayuba, said that focusing on grassroots development would reduce poverty, youth unemployment and boost socio-economic activities of the rural populace.
“The goal of government is to improve the living standard of its citizens by initiating people-oriented projects irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliation.
“Gov. Al-Makura should look beyond urban development and develop other towns and rural areas in the state,’’ Ayuba said.
According to Ayuba, youths at the grassroots should be productively engaged to prevent restiveness from the rural areas.
Ayuba called on the state government to provide adequate infrastructure, especially electricity, to improve the standard of living of the people.
Another resident, Mr Ibrahim Ali, chided the deplorable state of infrastructure in the rural areas.
“Going round the rural areas, you will see for yourself the number of villages and communities without good infrastructural facilities,’’ said the Nasarawa resident.
Ali said that if the state government focused on rural development, it would not only improve the people’s living standard but would also help tackle crime in the state.
For Hajiya Halima Danjuma, poverty, unemployment and low living standard were most pronounced in rural communities, creating untold hardship for the rural populace.
She added that this had increased rural-urban migration, resulting in urban congestion and rising crimes in towns and cities.