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Agric experts say Tinubu’s broadcast raises hope, requires proper

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Bola Tinubu

 

Some agricultural experts say President Bola Tinubu national broadcast is full of hope and many fruitful expectations but requires proper implementation.

They charged the President to set up mechanisms for proper planning and smooth implementation of his administration’s agricultural policies.

The experts disclosed this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday while reacting to the President’s national broadcast.

Prof. Ayo Olalusi, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology Akure, said the president broadcast, particularly his plan on agriculture, was a welcome development.

Olalusi said the implementation of the food security plan should be strictly supervised and monitored by the presidency.

“It is full of hope and many fruitful expectations.

“However, it should be noted that this is not the first time the nation will be listening a well-articulated speech and good proposals from our leaders.

“Most of the time, the implementation is usually the major challenge,”Olalusi said.

He said the implementation of the state of emergency declared on food production should be strictly supervised and monitored by the presidency.

Olalusi stressed that the implementation should not be hijacked by the political parties.

“Another challenge that hinders implementation is the problem of the ‘deceptive data base ‘ of farmers.

“The presidency should find a way of purging those who are not true farmers from the data base being paraded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Most of the time, the inputs go to the hand of those who will resell it to the farmers at high cost.

“The government should map out innovative ways of reaching the real farmers without passing through the middle men,” he said.

On his own part, Prof. Femi Ajayi, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Extension, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, urged the president not to make the food security plan another white elephant project.

Ajayi who doubted the workability of all the president’s proposal said there were many questions begging for answers in the broadcast.

He called on the government to work with committed people that would think through the process to make the proposals achievable.

Ajayi urged the Federal Government to desist from dealing with political associations or farmers in order not to truncate the process.

“Honestly, we need eggheads that will be able to think through with the government and make these proposals achievable.

“I am only saying as a professor of agriculture how are all these proposals workable?

“In agriculture, there’s something we call planning, implementation and evaluation. The president’s plan is suppose to go in that circle but does not appear so.

“We want to bring down the price of food but it is not only grain that we consume in Nigeria, government need to focus on all agricultural produce, grains, tubers , vegetables, fruits and others.

“Don’t focus only on rice, maize and wheat.

“How will the grains be distributed among the 36 states and FCT? Are we sure the process will not be hijacked by political or party faithful?

“There are many questions that are begging answers.

“If we solve our immediate problems what will happen in the long run. The strategy will not address the present food security confronting the nation because many people will hoard it.

“The distribution of grains may not amount to food on the table of average Nigerians,” he said.

 

Ajayi said the president broadcast had not really changed the situation on ground.

He the government need to give all these strategies a thought and see how they are going to lay it out and bring out a very strong strategic planning and break it down to cycles.

“Let me say that I don’t know of anybody that is jubilating over the broadcast, everything is like putting or postponing something.

“Don’t let it be another type of talk to hail agriculture because of the problem we have at hand.

“Where is the land to cultivate all these crops? Have they acquired the land? Have they allocated the land to people that will manage them? Or is it going to be another white elephant project?, Ajayi asked.

He urged the government to work with universities of agriculture and research institutes to find lasting solutions to mirage of problem confronting the nation’s food security.

“We have universities of agriculture, but it is as if they are not useful. We have faculty of agriculture and colleges of agriculture but it is as if they are not useful.

“Poultry farmers are crying and government has not been able to find a lasting solution to the sector.

“We cannot do it at a shot like this, the government is just two months old in office.

“By so doing, maybe we will get some where.

He urged the Federal Government to address the nation’s food security, make farms safe and attract young people to agriculture.

“I believe that the government can still do better with time,” he said.

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Breaking…Naira abuse: Court sentences Bobrisky to 6 months in custody

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Justice Abimbola Awogboro of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced popular cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, to six months in custody over Naira abuse.

 

Details soon…

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Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail

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The embattled former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been granted bail in the sum of N50m after being charged with a 26-count bordering on alleged abuse of office and irregular allocation of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion respectively.

 

Emefiele was admitted to bail with two sureties in like sum by Justice Rahmon Oshodi on Friday.

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