President Buhari and the Abuja Farmers

President Buhari and the Abuja Farmers

By Aliyu Nuhu

AREWA AGENDA – Who is an Abuja farmer?

When VOA asked president Muhammadu Buhari about Abuja farmers,the President, visibly angry, asked what the reporter meant by “Abuja farmers”.

Well the VOA reporter explained to the President that “Abuja farmer does not own farm or any agricultural business,but is an individual who is close to powerful politicians in Abuja who uses his influence to corner all loans meant for rural farmers and divert the money for houses and other useless luxuries.”

The truth is Abuja Farmers are real. When former agriculture minister Audu Ogbe was talking about agricultural loans to farmers he was economical with the truth. He knew his friends, colleagues and political hangers-on were the beneficiaries of FG’s phantom loans,not the ordinary farmer that resides in rural areas.

All the bumper harvests recorded by the country is with near zero input from the government. The FG gave no loans, agricultural implement or fertilizer to anyone. It built no dams or canals.

The hash economic conditions Nigerians found themselves forced families to return to farming with the aim of stopping hunger from killing them. There are many farmers today complaining of government collecting their money to supply fertilizers and two years after,there is neither money nor fertilizer.

Nigeria is not a serious country. It is a very bad agricultural spender. A nation that wastes money on imported fertilizer is not to be taken seriously.

Botswana spends it agricultural budgets on infrastructure like dams,canals,combined harvesters and tractors. Though very small country compared to Nigeria, Botswana has 121 units of tractors per 100 sq. km of land compared to Nigeria that has 7 units per 100 sq of land..

The only combined harvesters in Nigeria are for research and are mostly owned by agricultural institutions.

How then can one see Nigeria as a serious agricultural nation when its last minister was a 70 years old historian with no knowledge and expertise on agriculture?

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of Young Writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives.