Cellphones are not solution to our headache- Farmers
Prince Wale Oyekoya, the President of Farmers Association of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, opines that buying cellphones for Nigerian farmers is a not only a misplaced priority but another huge waste of resources.Oyekoya while speaking with Saturday Vanguard in his office on the issue stated that although cellphone was important to farmers, it is not to the level the federal government had taken it, adding that it could be another way of siphoning money.
He stated that the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI had indicated interest to partner with the federal government on its policies mainly because the farmers had since found out that most of government's policies are inconsistent with the needs of the farmers and are directed to the 'portfolio farmers. 'LCCI intends to partner with the government in order to be able identify the real farmers. Government has been dealing with portfolio and political farmers in the past.' he said.
'The Minister claimed that 70 percent of rural farmers are without phones, I don't know how he got this figure. There are about one hundred million phones in circulation as we speak. Nigerian farmers are all rural farmers which means, cellphone is not their priority because they can afford it.
'Therefore, there is need for federal government to partner with the private sectors and non-government organisations including the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI who know the real farmers. When I contacted some of the farmers in Lagos, Ogun, Osun States, they don't seem to know what the government is doing.'
He added that government policies like the fertilizers and intervention fund have not gotten to the real farmers but have been hijacked by cronies and politicians.