Let’s take them one by one.
“Why is it assumed that of all the problems facing Nigerian farmers, the most acute is treatable by merely buy mobile phones for them?” – Dele Momodu
Speaking as one of the so called future ‘leaders of tomorrow’ and more importantly as a final year student of the Faculty of Agriculture, majoring in Crop Science, I just can’t stop laughing. I’ve being laughing ever since I heard the news about the intended purchase of ten million mobile phones by the government for ten million farmers. I just keep laughing any time it pops into my cranium because the “intellectuals” that came up with that idea obviously lack some vital component of theirs.
The exact….err cause of my mirth is not as funny as you might expect it to be. See, for the past four years, my colleagues and I had being regaled by the various issues and problems confronting the average subsistent farmer. In fact 60 percent of our education so far have being focused on those problems and how they may be thus solved by a dedicated and ultimately sane government;
1). Poor processing and storage facilities (value chain)
2). Lack of incentives for said farmers.
3). Development of lands meant for farming
4). High cost of inputs
6). Lack of funds
7). Poor transportation system
9). And more importantly; non implementation of essential government policies that are supposed to create food security for the nation and subsequently a better life for these hard working farmers.
So I just can’t imagine why the president of our dear Federal Republic, after numerous meetings and consultations with his cabinet, particularly the Minister of Agriculture and the many….oh so many special advisers on various agricultural matters would decide that the best way to help farmers in this brand new 2013 will be to provide the farmers with cell phones. I wonder which phones he intends to buy for them, maybe BlackBerry 10? Or the iPhone 5 perhaps?
Excuse me if I’m being dramatic but I just can’t help it at this moment. About 3-4 months ago we all heard the story about how farmers in the north were swindled out of their “supposedly” free government provided fertilizers which subsequently led to a drop in produce yield and the federal government in its infinite wisdom has discovered that buying them cell phones will trigger an increase in crop production? Or a decrease in pest and disease outbreak? Or and increase in market value of their crops leading to a better life for them and their families?
Let us take it further by quoting from a Basketmouth’s broadcast when the sad news first broke out: “The Federal Government is to procure 10 million telephone handsets worth about N60 billion from China and the US for free distribution to rural farmers across the country. Questions: Are they buying BlackBerry Porsche for these farmers? Are they going to preload the President’s number in all the phones? As the reason for the purchase is because they want the farmers to have direct contact with the Government? Did the farmers complain that their problem is a mobile phone?”
Maybe Obama will distribute the phones himself. Maybe the phones have inbuilt fertilizers in them. Maybe the phones have inbuilt tractors…”
It is a sad fact that this is the kind of country we find ourselves in, and if I hear any-other self righteous individual say “Nigeria go better” I might just end up being jailed for an homicide. A country is only as good as its leaders and according to Dele Momodu once again:
“FIFTH COLUMNISTS have programmed President Jonathan for failure and he’s playing along. He wobbles and fumbles like a victim of hypnotism and Black Magic. No miracle is about to happen. Not in Jonathan’s time.”
You can read the full article by Dele Momodu here