Shonga farm: Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed’s definition of ‘efficiency’
*Illegalities being defended with passion can’t be efficient
“If a foolish person gives a rubbish account of a situation, definitely it will never be a foolish person like him that will be called upon to adjudge the matter”.
Recently, I watched a video of Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara State giving the comprehensive account of the ownership of Shonga Farm. He stated that the Shonga farm do not belong to Kwara State except for the negligible share which was given to Kwara state government consequent upon the little contribution of the State government.
He stated further that a whole lot of investors are Zimbabweans, South Africans and banks. The Governor said people criticised their running of Shonga farm simply because the running is efficient. The word “efficient” was emphatic and loudly leaned on by the Governor to justify frauds and illegalities perpetrated at Shonga farm.
There is a need to contextualise the word ‘efficiency’ beyond the parochial and shallow thinking of our amiable Governor. We would be hundred percent constructive in our criticism as directed by His Excellency in the said video.
Non-inclusion of Kwarans or Nigerians in the partnership is inefficiency. If indeed the Shonga farm is indeed a public-private investment as alluded by the Governor in the video, it is a huge inefficiency not to have introduced Kwaran or Nigerian investors to this project before calling on South Africans and other vicious people to invest.
Nigerians will surely be ready and eager to invest in this kind of project if called upon to invest and such an investment will surely be well secured because indigenes are involved. I must further clarify that inviting foreign investors is not bad but there is a need to include the willing citizens.
Decisions of Kwara state government to alienate Shonga farm to the foreigners without due consultation at the detriment of indigenes who might want to use the land is inefficiency. The land belongs to citizens but government holds land for people in trust and whatsoever the government intends to use the land for must be to the benefit of the people and the masses needs to be notified.
Inefficiency is a situation whereby you do not think of a benefit that your involvement as Kwarans’ trustee in a project will yield to the people. Governor Abdulfatta Ahmed said categorically in his statement that the state government was even forced to participate in the investment because the investors did not trust their relationship with banks which he claimed to have introduced them to.
It means if this issue of trust was not raised the Kwara state government will never think of monetising the roads constructed and electricity piloted as Kwara state government shares. It shows the level of incompetence and inefficiency.
Shonga is supposed to be another opening for employment for Kwarans but it is an unfortunate situation to say that the little Kwarans working at Shonga farm today are only engaged in an undignified type of employment with little pay regardless of the result submitted. This can never be called efficiency.
It has never for once been reported to Kwarans on how much the people and their state generate from the farm and what it was used for. Income from Shonga Farm has never for once been disclosed to the entire state either from gazette or Kwara dailies. This nondisclosure in itself is inefficiency.
If the activities going on in the farm are mainly for commercial purpose, failure to facilitate a means by which Kwarans will have access to those products is inefficiency. Nobody says you should give for free. It is a demonstration of brutality on the side of Governor to have denied Kwarans access to the farm produce. Wherever these produce are export to, it will definitely add reliefs to the needs and wellbeing of the people living there. This will surely be at the detriment of the mined Kwarans.
It is further necessary to state clearly without mincing word that the sum of N2 billion loaned from the Federal Government is indeed a fraud. It is a fraud in the sense that Federal Government gave that loan as a share of Kwarans who are expected to do more in agriculture in order to give more reliefs to citizens in the area of employment, food surplus and economic viability.
I will indeed indulge the Kwara state Governor to throw more light on how he intends to meet up with these expectations when Shonga farm operates in this manner you have said. It might even be the bigger establishment in the world, how does this affect Kwara state in particular and Nigeria at large. There is nothing efficient in all the activities surrounding Shonga farm.
Finally, Kwarans are not foolish but we are only the lovers of peace. All you have offered since your resumption of office is nothing but hunger, unrest and hardship. It is high time we fight to revive the most valuable asset of Kwarans you have taken from us. We have prepared for the bloodless war against you and your leader (Senator Bukola Saraki) by 2019 and you will come to testify that it will not be fraud as usual. Mind you, our weapons will be limited the intellect and vote. Watch out.