The destructive activities of Boko haram insurgents have rendered a substantial part of Northern Nigeria prostrate due to its asymmetric modus operandi in destroying all the long term legacies so bequeathed by centuries of Cultural and Economic interactions of the early inhabitants
Analysts are of the strong opinion that illiteracy and poverty play major significant roles in all the crises and conflicts bedevilling the Northern part of Nigeria, and all possible solutions must take cognisance of the need to eradicate these two that are actually intertwined in all ramifications.
This piece attempts to proffer a solution to the constant security misadventures that destroyed our ancestral home.
The level of destruction is unprecedented. It has never been bad like this in the chequered history of our motherland.
It has instilled unimaginable fears and restrict free movements in entire Northern Nigeria.
It should be well understood that the fashionable displays of elitist intervention programs will not take us anywhere but will, instead be part of our many journeys to destruction.
We need to evolve something worthwhile and workable within our peculiar local and cultural setting. We need to be wholeheartedly down to earth in tackling the menace headlong taking our peculiarity 100 per cent.
As a first step, we need to all come together, including our Governors, Legislators, Academicians, The Business community et al, and patriotically agree to create a Special intervention Funds for Northern Agric Revolution, all The Northern strengths has always been synonymous with Agric right from the time of our forefathers.
A collective agreement of at least 50 per cent of the total allocations to the individual 19 Northern states should be re channelled at source to this Special Intervention Fund.
The entire North is subdivided into three Subregions; NE, NW and NC. Two impeccable leaders whose pedigree of straightforwardness and commendable community service are never in doubt should be selected each from the three regions.
The selection process can hold through our local institutions comprising the governors and traditional rulers. If we are really serious we know the upright amongst ourselves and getting six of them from the vast region should not be difficult.
These golden six will form a Board to oversee the Special Agric Fund. The six can elect their Chairperson on a permanent or rotational basis as it deems fit.
Haven channelled the minimum 50% from states’ allocations, the individual state governors will only be working with half allocation, plus their respective Internally Generated Revenue, IGR for steering the affairs of their individual states. With this, continuous monthly funding of the SNAF will then be achieved.
The SNAF Board can now get to action by employing (foreign) professionals to effect feasibility studies amongst others, study food and cash crops that each state and/or zone has a comparative advantage, and establish a cluster of farms scattered worldwide states of the Region.
For instance, The NE can be used for Groundnut, Guinea corn, Millet, Cattle rearing, etc; The NW for Maize, Cotton, Wheat, sheep rearing, etc; The NC for Rice, Yams, potato, poultry, etc.. So clusters of applicable preferences should spring up in the entire sub Regions. These will now form the fulcrum to provisioning of jobs to everyone.
Youths (and adults) of all ages will be employed to work on these farms and get rewarded handsomely. Competent foreign and local professionals will be hired to ensure the application of state of the art Mechanised farming that will guarantee viable yield as obtainable in developed countries.
This will also apply to mining activities as the North is blessed with so many minerals that are yet to be exploited.
The mode of employing these youths/adults should be direct and all inclusive; No one should be left out in the scheme.
For instance, Government can announce via all modern media as well as through our traditional ways of Town criers inviting all able-bodied youths (both men and women) to appear at the Town square, Stadium or wherever that have space capacity for instant recruitment exercises.
All age group and Educational qualifications can be accommodated in the farms and mine fields.
A sample monthly remuneration could be: Graduate – N60,000; NCE/ Diploma holders- N50,000; Secondary School leavers-N45,000; Non certificated-N40,000, etc… Employment will be immediate for everyone and Government will provide buses to ply different routes for pickup by 6:00 am to the farm and return at the close of farm activities by 6:00 pm daily, minus Sundays, for instance.
At Breaktime around Midday special hygienic, qualitative food will be served and there should be enough quantity for everyone. Farm activities require healthy and non-hungry manpower.
All these will be monitored by the foreign consultants if need be. At 6:00 pm the day’s activities will close and buses will depart for return journey.
The impressiveness and beauty of these are enormous because youths of working age will all be employed and paid handsomely and will be engaged throughout the day, and by the time they return home around 8:00 pm or so, they may not have the extra unnecessary energy levels and stamina to engage on unwarranted criminal activities.
Also, note that two things that constitute huge burdens to youths at the start of employment are Transport money and food at break times at working places.
These will be adequately taken care of by the system, and at month end their full pay package will be delivered handsomely.
In the end, this will be a win- win situation for all because The Govt will make a huge profit (this is a modern Mechanised farming run by foreign professionals using up to date farming inputs and implements) and the youths will be gainfully employed.
I am sure it will not require an Einstein or a rocket Scientist to know that all the Boko Haram, kidnappings and most other societal ills will disappear within three months…
In conclusion, just like the phrase that drastic situation requires drastic solution, so it is with the present situation in the entire Northern Nigeria?
It’s either we embrace our peculiarity in sorting ourselves and employ our African approach or we continue the ever ‘shadow chasing’ by an occasional assemblage of our Elders at Arewa House Kaduna to drink Tea and disperse to arrange to reconvene at a later date again, and also doling out N20,000 to our youths thinking this will fight poverty.
I pray those in Government will summon the political will and courage to give this suggestion the attention it requires for a chance to make ours an egalitarian and thriving society.
Mormoni, an engineer, can be reached through email at Mormonys@gmail.com or 08032003559.