By Jaclyn IWU
THUR, DECEMBER 29 2016-On the 5th of March 2016, I stumbled on Nigerian Television Agency (NTA) WEEKEND FILE where an interview was being conducted by Kierian Umeayo. Guess what I heard? For the first time I heard of an agency called Bio-safety Management Agency and the whole talk was on Biotech for food sufficiency in Nigeria. The topic of that interview was actually –FOOD SUFFICIENCY IN NIGERIA. The guest was the DG of this agency and I was watching and listening with keen interest how this big name of an agency affects our food production in the country. I am also sure that was why he was invited to the station to tell Nigerians what his agency has been doing all along to enable easy food production for our farmers.
The DG kept repeating genetically modifies organisms and it looks like he even confused Kierian and kierian was not getting any reasonable talk with him. It got to a stage, Kierian asked him point blank how this Biotech and genetically modified organism he kept talking about affects our local farmers positively since most of our farmers are illiterates. Same old story!.
Now while I watched and listen for almost 20 or more minutes, I never had a grip on anything this agency was mapped out to do in Nigeria. From the topic of the interview, my mind tells me it has to do with food production in Nigeria. The vital question here is- Has this agency been doing its part as we have been struggling with food production in this country over the years? I also understand the agency must be on the side of mechanized farming looking at the name –Biotech.
This probably they will do in conjunction with other food production agencies like the ministry of Agriculture. How many of you reading this talk today know about this particular food production agency all over the years we have been struggling with food production issues?
This is just one of numerous dormant agencies scattered everywhere in Nigeria but doing nothing to improve lives of Nigerians. The Government pays so many people in this country who are not being productive in serving Nigerians. Why won’t Government go broke? Tell me why …when all that the Government does is to pay salaries without any productivity from those being paid.
Now, let us take a look at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Nigerians are not interested in knowing how all the sectors created in NNPC works. There are so many of them that you wonder, why all these sub sectors in the NNPC? All you hear in NNPC when there is fuel scarcity or embezzlement of funds is names like – PPRA, PPMC, DPR and so many PPPPMCs all over and we are not even sure which department is/are creating the chronic fuel scarcity saga we have been having for donkey years without no relief. Go out and interview Nigerians to find out if they know what all these sub sectors in NNPC means and what their duties are in NNPC. You will be surprised that they will be moping at you as if you are talking crazy man talk.
In February when the sack of almost 24 or so DGs happened, I met some Nigerians, you know these men that usually read free newspapers at newspaper stands all over and they argue from what they read from the papers that day. I met them discussing on the sack and their major topic that day was-’’so we have so many agencies in this country?’’ Others were saying that they have not even heard of them not to talk of feeling what they do. It was an eye opener for most average Nigerians to hear about so many agencies in Nigeria with executives and numerous workers yet, the country socio-economic life keep getting sicker and sicker year after year. So why keep agencies and paying salaries to workers who are not adding any value to Nigerian survival?
I am not saying that the workers of these agencies should be sacked but if the Government feels, we need all these agencies, then the big Boss of this country must ensure that these agencies whose workers are being paid monthly do what they were established to do. Nigerians must feel the impact of numerous agencies scattered in this country or else they should be scrapped! Period!
You have executives who are in charge of some agricultural agencies but they hardly go to the local farmers to see what they are doing in their farms all over Nigeria. You need people in this sector to go into the rural areas and pitch their work tables there. You know why foreigners come here and make so much money? It is because a typical oyibo expert does not shy away from doing what he claims to be an expert in.
Look at Julius Berger, they have their executive engineers all over the road inspecting their construction. In Nigeria, tell me how many Nigerian contractors you will see day after day on site apart from giving oders to labourers? They will collect the contract, hand it over to local labourers and travel outside the country. They will be calling their workers on phone to know what is happening on site and what kind of finishing do you expect from such attitude?
As a road contractor, you must be there to inspect what the workers are doing. Same is applicable to all these agencies that have been sleeping and waking up at the end of each month to collect salaries from the Government.
Using this bio safety agency as a contact point, the Government should take an over haulage of their duties and get people who are ready to go into the field of farming/agriculture. At this stage Nigerians are looking into made- in- Nigeria products; I think such an agency can do so much. Honestly, I am still to be educated on what their entire roles are but if the topic I saw on TV was about food sufficiency, then I must be correct to say that they should sit up and power their expertise on food production in Nigeria.
Enough of too much grammar and surplus theory blue print pipeline plans for our economy. This is the time to put brain work into practical use for Nigerians to feel what the government agencies are doing.
A lot of directors of Agencies are simply employed due to their high/plenty university degrees and they can hardly transform their educational degrees into practical use suitable for Nigerian environment. Most of them are not vibrant enough to even work under harsh conditions to achieve their agency’s mission. Just watch them being interviewed in the media, it takes them hours to spit out reasonable statements and all we hear are drag talks like –ee—mmm…eehhhmmm….can’t we just have vibrant –eloquent- highly intelligent- pragmatic Government officials who know how to educate and address the general public and make sense at the same time?
Jaclyn IWU is Life/Business/Career Coach, A stress management Expert &Conference Speaker, Media Communication Consultant BLOG: http://bluntjacqui.blogspot.com.ng FACEBOOK: Beautifulwoman.column TWITTER: @Jacquiworld.