Agro-revolution, job creation, skills acquisition and things Buhari should have commissioned … The Songhai farm example

By Francis Udoka Ndimkoha

It is a trite fact that President Buhari has successfully paid an official visit to Imo State, on Thursday 9th September, 2021. To reiterate that would be akin to standing before the Eiffel tower in France and declaring that the structure is tall!

I have argued, elsewhere that sequel to the unmitigated insecurity challenges that bedeviled Imo State in the last 5 months, that Presidential visit was indeed long overdue, thus it is an unpleasant surprise to see people argue that the President must commission projects when he visits a state.

The President is not, by law, a commissioner of projects. He is the number citizen of Nigeria, who enjoys the mandate of all Nigerians, both those who voted and who didn’t, thus he is expected to visit States in Nigeria, to feel the pulse of the people, directly, not just reading intelligence reports from all corners.

There are so many projects that President Buhari could have commissioned yesterday, but I believe that the most important aspect of his visit, as designed by the Imo State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, was the town hall meeting, where Southeast leaders and clerics had the opportunity to transmit the yearning and aspirations of Ndigbo to the President.

This resulted just a few projects, in close proximity, being chosen for commissioning, I’m spite of a lot others deserving of commissioning.

There’s a brand new Imo State Polytechnic being constructed in Omuma, which has existing approval, being an institution on relocation from Umuagwo. This school has several projects that should be commissioned. There are roads in Okigwe, including the stadium road, just to mention a few. Time, in a one day state visit, wouldn’t have permitted these.

If those projects are in doubt, the Songhai farm commissioned today by the Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman Hussein Adamu, could have been listed for commissioning as well.

For one thing the farm has huge revenue potential as well job creation advantage. The Songhai farm did wonders in Rivers State, during the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and this particular one is partnering with several international and reputable agencies like IITA and MasterCard, with the aim of training young Imo people the agricultural best practices.

It is noteworthy that Songhai has previously tried, in vain, to take off in Imo State, until the coming of Governor Hope Uzodimma who quickly spotted the essence of such a venture and created the enabling environment for the take.

Songhai farm is now in Imo.
More jobs. More food. More revenue.

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