A lot has been done and is still being done to port Nigeria from the comity of importing nation to an exporting nation and in the course; there seems to be a misplacement of priority somewhere along the line and the Minister of Agric, Audu Ogbeh, needs to answer some critical questions.
It is bad enough that Nigeria, a nation of about 200 million people with arguably one of the best skilled people around the world and also graced with countless numbers of natural resources to help turn it into one of the best nations around the globe, but careless and self-centred nature of the people at the helm of affairs have plummeted a nation full with milk and honey to struggling for crumbs.
The government of President Goodluck Jonathan did a lot in helping Nigeria take a curve into being an exporting nation by starting a campaign for indigenous products; the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has done a lot to build on the foundation they said never existed.
With Nigeria and Nigerians taking one step forward and several others backward and more recently, struggling to feel the succour of exiting recession about two months after, the little the masses have to share among themselves are being taking away to foreign land.
The Minister of Agric, Audu Ogbeh, announced in June 2017 that Nigeria would start importing yams to the United States of America and the United Kingdom, fast forward to October, after the first batch of about 70 tonnes of yam were exported, the US rejected the products, terming them as ‘rotten’ and the House of Representatives has summoned all parties involved to explain how they went ahead to wash the countries dirty linen in faraway America.
Does Nigerians have enough yams to eat in the first place? Yams that were bought for 400 have tripled in price and being one of the indigenously grown foods in the country, the rush for the carbohydrate food is endless.
One would think before a nation ventures into an exporting business, that nation must have had enough to feed its people excessively and the leftovers are what would be exported as it were in the case of Thailand and rice.
Did Ogbeh do his calculation well enough before taking away food from the tables of Nigerians only to impress some group of people overland?
If Nigeria has to be an exporting nation, isn’t it common sense to start with things that they can do without? 70 tonnes of yams would probably feed a state for a period of time. The rationale behind starting with yam as a cash crop is really confusing.
Would Ogbeh find happiness in giving to a nation not in lack than provide for a people that only depends on such as their dailybread?
This isn’t the first occasion this government has put their own interest over the needs of 200 million others, unless Nigerians start speaking out and fighting for what is theirs, they might wake one day to the news of being sold to another slave master.