It wasn't shocking news when I learned that the minister for agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Ayo Adesina announced that the federal government was seeking to procure 10 million phones for farmers nationwide at the whopping cost of six billion naira. That's animal thinking, which isn't shocking too- cos to understand some decisions taken by our so called leaders, just watch animal planet or nat geo wild channel.
Did farmers, at any point in time, ever complained that lack of mobile phones was a factor militating against increased yield? Or, can Dr Adesina tell me what that number of mobile phones will do for farmers? Will the phones help as fertilizers? Or help milk cows, till d fields, process grains, store them, prevent crop and animal diseases, facilitate loans or solve other endless issues facing agricultural development in the country? I mean, let's e realistic here- we are talking about six billion naira here.
The minister also said government is trying to create jobs and not taking jobs outside the country. I am forced to ask; will the 10 million phones be manufactured in Nigeria? Moreover, 10 million phones for six billion naira amounts to six thousand naira (6,000) per phone. Oga minister, which farmer can't afford a phone- even if its not six thousand naira worth? There are phones that are as cheap as three thousand naira.
Besides that, will the farmers be provided with generators for electricity to chrage the phones, recharge cards to credit the phones, and maybe gsm masts to improve network?
What about farmers like Olusegun Obasanjo and his other retired military friends and their cohorts who took money they embezzled to establish farms- will they benefit from the gesture? I am not a farmer, nor am I a specialist in agricultural economics, but this idea should be killed as fast as it was envisaged. If Goodluck Jonathan has free six billion naira to farmers, there are a thousand things he can budget the money for- not buying phones that even school children will reject.