Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24 Nigeria. The stories here come from users.

Latest Badges:

View all Dexingees's badges.

N60B For Phones: Another Christmas Gift To Some People

29 January 2013, 12:12

The plan by the ministry of Agriculture to spend about sixty billion (N60,000,000,000.00 only) naira  in buying mobile phones for 10 million farmers does not pass any test of logical reason. The motive like that of other projects is questionable. More questionable is the reactions of the two top officials of the ministry with respect to the exact amount of money to be spent on the project.

While the permanent secretary, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote  put the cost of the project at N60 billion, the minister of the same ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Adesina Akinwunmi, claimed that they were yet to arrive at the budget yet. Who do we believe? To me, this is very strange because before any project is proposed, there needs to be some costs at least to work with. Too many questions begging for answers from these top officials because am yet to understand the mathematical formula used in calculating the cost of the said 10 million phones to arrive at about 6 billion naira.

However, that the ministry will deem mobile phones amongst all the problems facing the Nigerian farmer the most urgent is very worrisome. Yes, mind-boggling. Both the honourable minister and the secretary have tried in their individual understanding to justify the so called e-wallet project but to me, there are other more important issues that demand urgent attention. I agree that the Nigerian farmer needs information but the basic thing should be done first which is educating the farmers on modern farming techniques. How many farmers in the country today can read and write? How many farmers in Nigeria understand the basic functions of a simple mobile phone? This ‘mobile phone for farmers’ is a misplaced priority.

How on earth does a mere access to a mobile phone affect the productivity for these farmers? Instead, the minister and his team should concentrate more on ways of providing affordable access to modern farming equipment such as tractors, trucks and other machines, fertilizers and other productivity generating resources to the farmers.

They should provide storage facilities to reduce loss of farm produce especially the perishable ones as well as agricultural extension programmes to keep the farmers up to date with modern agricultural practices. It is no news that roads in the country are nothing to write home about and the roads to agricultural farms are even worse; yet what the honourable minister sees as the most pressing is buying mobile phone for farmers that already have access to means of communication.

In spite of the poverty in the land, some farmers in the rural areas have as many as two cell phones. In this case, should they discard of the old ones they had just to collect the new ones from the government? According to the minister, given the quantity and cost of food that the country imports, nothing can be more urgent and important that to produce more food for local consumption.

This is true but he is trying to solve it the wrong way because if N60 billion naira is effectively managed, it would do a lot at addressing the problems facing agriculture in Nigeria. I’m afraid this money might be another gift to some few individuals.

Again, purchasing these phones from either China or the U.S direct from the manufactures’ companies is not only ridiculous but makes no economic sense at all as it will only sustain jobs and create wealth in other economies. If the honourable minister lacks wisdom, let him ask of the Lord and it would be granted him! Indeed, common sense is not common. 

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...