The oil boom in Nigeria remains a good and bad blessing to the World’s most populous Black nation in the African continent, a country with rich fertile land particularly from the Northern part of the nation, that provides not only food but cash for infrastructural developments.
Accompanying the oil boom was laziness fostered by acute corruption because of so much money in the country which does not come from taxpayers, such free cash made our leaders rulers and not servants as was the case then.
Now technological advancements are gradually making oil mundane as developed economies are working round the clock to find an alternative to it by switching to electric cars that use power, while, phasing out oil recognition another economic monster Coronavirus (COVID-19) rears its ugly head ravaging superpower countries, as it affects almost bring such strong economies to its knees.
Alarmed by the stark realities, Nigeria decided to look away from oil to return to the old economic mainstay which is farming.
Fortunately, Kebbi was chosen as a pilot state to drive the economic diversification hence the introduction of anchor borrowers with the central bank as the sole financier, rich in vast fertile lands Kebbi swung to action, the first one year of the scheme under Governor Atiku Bagudu, the state witness bumper harvest as farmers turned millionaires and the youth who engaged in farming became gainfully employed thus reducing the number of youth engaging in political thuggery.
Within that same year, Kebbi witnessed the influx of people from walks of life to learn to farm, the huge success recorded was contributed by the agricultural experts from the relevant ministry.
The anchor borrowers scheme, however, gave birth to two huge rice mills in Kebbi which are Labana rice mills and Wacot rice mills and many other small millers sprang up, the reason being rice has been made available for the two companies with all year round farming paddy rice supply remains constant.
With two rice mills, Kebbi has jerked up the internally generated revenue and created jobs for the teeming youth in the state, who even prefer to work in the companies due to jumbo pay, all the aforementioned were during Bagudu’s first term in office shortly after the launch of anchor borrowers by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recently, the state in a symbolic ceremony which was graced by the apex bank governor Godwin Emiefele and Kayode Fayemi Chairman governors forum unveiled a fascinating rice pyramid at Zauro to mark five years anniversary of the anchor borrowers scheme existence in Kebbi.
There is no gain saying that Kebbi and the federal government if they sustain the programme holistically will boost its export and will bring much money and employment more than oil.
Rice farming has brought Kebbi to the limelight and beehive of agric activities globally as oil replacement grows Kebbi has shot up the country above the oil wells by involving ceaseless farming of cash crops and staple foods for consumption, a survey indicated that wheat alone can generate billions to the government due to continuous demand of seeds, in addition, cotton, timber and cocoa.
These natural endowments that abound in the country just need a push to propel Nigeria to greater heights in terms of agriculture, I will not wind up without mentioning valuable contributions of the Kebbi State governor as henchman whose golden touch brought success to the scheme, as another round of the programme kicks off we envisage another bumper harvest.