Mr. President, tend your agricultural policies
Sir: It’s no longer news that Nigerians across the country are lamenting the exorbitant cost of food daily. Those with the president’s ears should tell him the truth or are they frightened to inform him his agricultural plans are failing the country’s teeming inhabitants? Floods have undoubtedly destroyed an unimaginable number of farmlands around the country, significantly hurting farm production across some states of the federation. In fact, food inflation has become the norm; sadly, most Nigerians are unable to feed their families.
The Federal Government has taken a significant toll on the economy under this administration, with policies that have failed the people. To drive the economy through agriculture, policies that are just, affluent, favourable and prosperous must be developed and embraced by the majority who chose farming as their source of livelihood.
The President recently blamed “middlemen for taking advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians.” One might wonder, are these middlemen ghosts or are they above the law that can’t be brought to book? Saboteurs should indeed face the consequences of their actions. We can’t allow unscrupulous elements to undermine our quest to attend food security. We barely grow what we consume because fertiliser isn’t only unavailable but also prohibitively expensive for ordinary Nigerian farmers. However, the anchor borrowers scheme has not assisted Nigerians in obtaining relief; in fact, it may have resulted in more casualties, given that our borders are restricted and we are not yet cultivating what is required in the country.
Indeed, new policies must be implemented to ensure that ordinary Nigerians can afford to purchase agricultural commodities. However, I’m pleading with the government to focus more on subsidising agricultural implements to encourage people to embrace farming and find ways to bridge shortages so that food is cheap for the growing population. A hungry man is believed to be an angry man. Nigerians would soundly sleep if food is not only abundant but also affordable and the problem of malnutrition will undoubtedly be reduced to a manageable level.
Indeed, one of the basic principles of governance is that it must undertake programmes that benefit its subjects.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani wrote from Galadima Mahmud Street, Kasuwar-kaji Azare, Bauchi State.
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