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AFTERMATHS OF THE CATASTROHIC COVID-19 ANYWAY FORWARD FOR AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS? NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY

Introduction.

‘Once bitten, twice shy’’, says an adage. The best of a human is he who learns, either from others’ lessons, so to say their mistakes, or from his own catastrophic occurrences that stage within his own environment to the victims of such circumstances. The worse endemic disease in the year 2019/2020 in the world’s history is CORONA VIRUS with its appellation (COVID 19).

It started in a place called WUHAN in India and its tentacles spread to other parts of the world: America, Canada, Saudi-Arabia, Germany, Italy, Ghana, Kenya, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt; to mention but a few. Indeed, many lives have lost, gone and shall never return in the cold hands of the wicked pandemic life threatening scourge (COVID 19).

However, the deed had been done, the damages to human health remains devastating, demoralization and colossal damage of  countries’ economy, the human social relationships have been partially crushed, the battle of readiness to become new parents after  long  decades of a wave of bye-bye to procreating new arrivals, the unprecedented divorce of many years of marriage, the hike in prices of food products and inaccessibility to farm by the farmers, rotten food items due to lack smooth interstate vehicular movements. Or worse scenarios  were where the scourge forcefully drove off the pastors and their followers and put to a  halt, an  important event in Christendom such Easter; and Muslims driven away miles from their sacred Houses of Allah (Mosques-Masaajid).Most importantly in the lives of committed Muslims was the mimics of Ramathan 2020/1441 A.H that sneaked in, unannounced and observed without normal: late evening supererogatory prayers (Taraawih),absence of public Qur’anic exegesis (Tafseer),seclusion for spiritual submissiveness (I’tikaaf) etc.

What then are the ways out from the catastrophic aftermaths and what are the areas we need to correct, amend, adjust and make readily available better options and developments for common peasants and the generality of the African populace? The global economy has crashed and the human social relationship has collapsed while insecurity threatens. Particularly in     Nigeria where most of the country’s hospitals cannot be patroonised by the leaders except when Covid 19 got them isolated and quarantined because there was no option of traveling out for medical attention. Education in Nigeria stopped completely without an alternative of e-learning unlike other countries that commenced immediately, e-learning for pupils and students respectively, from their various homes. We can only hope that crisis will remind African leaders that contracting out the attributes of economy independence to others is a mistake. (Kako)

Discussion

It is never too late for the African countries to take a cue and make amends concerning their lapses on how to forge forward in terms of developing their countries. In this light, it is expected that a solidarity term will be reached by country members to arrive at certain drives. The areas where African leaders need to unanimously work hard upon include the following:

Agriculture

Agriculture is an act of clearing the land, texturing, planting weeding, watering or irrigating, fertilizing and harvesting the farm produce either for cash gains, in order to improve food production for the consumption of beneficiaries, so as to prevent famine from ravaging the members of the community (Maisuna 17).Before 1960s,agriculture in Nigeria was the main source of income. The situation changed due to the discovery of petroleum (Ojeka and Effiong 2). Abdullahi (15) corroborates that the agricultural sector which dominated the main source of revenue to the country in the 1960s, had been relegated to the background due to several factors such as the discovery of crude oil….The Federal government of Nigeria since the discovery of petroleum has partially neglected agriculture with full concentration on crude oil. The most painful aspect of the crude oil business is that, other valuable products such as, natural gas, tin, iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead and zinc (Opec https://en, m.wikipedia.org) are not extracted to make more revenue for the country, rather, the product is refined outside the country, reducing the economic growth of the country. ’Kudi na gida, ankeshi awaje kenan,kuma asara ne’ Owo’le nlo sode eyipeleke (Sikiru Ayinde Barrister SKOLP 010),meaning: money meant for internal use/gain is exported abroad which is cataclysmic What a jeopardy?!  The blind, so to say with apology, can feel very much, the breeze of abundant agricultural endowments Nigeria is blessed with. Without either being hyperbolical or meiotic; it is obvious that every Nigerian state is copiously blessed with bountiful and varieties of agricultural products that can serve duo purposes: for internal consumption and exportation as well (food and cash crop). In the tropical rain forest which consists of Central, Eastern and Western  states of Nigeria: Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Bendel, Imo, Anambra, Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom produce plenteously, crops like: cocoa, Kola, palm produce timber, cotton, yam, rubber and cassava.

On the other hand, Plateau state produces Irish potatoes in large quantity, tomatoes and rice, while Kogi state also produces rice. In that line, Duste-Alhaji area of FCT-Abuja cultivates fadama (rice), guinea-corn, millet, cashew, banana, mango and cashew (Balogun 73).The Bible asserted that: Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully(Corinthians 2 9:6) The random expository of agricultural production in Nigeria show cases how so much  (Allah), the Almighty God loves Nigeria and her   people by endowing Nigeria with green arable land, abundant rain fall, moderate whether and climatic condition, experienced agriculturalists etc.

Toyin Sokefun Bello, a Nigerian musician in Stephens, (20) asserted in her music/song that: The land is green-it is green can’t you see? For my seeds to grow, for every prayer and every seed I have sown; the Lord of the harvest Knows I’m reaping back a hundred fold. In analysing that stanza, Nigeria’s greenish land is abundantly arable, anything planted grows, and where the seeds are reluctant to grow; prayers to the Almighty Allah (God) will resuscitate the seeds, no wonder that Islam recommends prayers for rain, when it seizes; then reaping a hundred of seeds, so correct Toyin’s assertion was; as it has a referral in the verse of the Glorious where Allah   states:

The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of all is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases: And Allah cares for all and He knows all things (Q2:261).

Countries like Saudi-Arabia, Malaysia, Kuwait have oil yet they are racers in the frontline of agricultural production and upper priority is given to agriculture as they juxtapose agriculture with oil production. Any nation that neglects agriculture writes a long application to abject poverty and a slim window to a ravaging famine. Have we ever thought that the oil/petrol may dry up one day? What plan ‘B’ does Nigeria have if so it happens? A parable of this is established in the Qur’an thus: Says:

Have considered, if your water was to become sunken (into the earth), then who could bring you flowing water? (Q67:30)

Apparently, Allah (God) is the Superpower Being, He who has power to dry up water has the same wither wield to sunken petrol hence His Power is manifest on how Corona virus (COVID 19) almost sank the entire universe! Food security in terms of venting largely into agricultural sector is a great necessity in Lieu of sipping and swallowing of petroleum product that its future is obscure as its present benefits but very minimal population. Agriculture has value chain that can, and has been benefitting more than 80% of Nigerian populace.

What is a value chain? According to Bank of Industry, a value chain is a connected string of companies, groups and other players who are together to satisfy market demands for a particular product or group of product..Each agricultural product has chains of value chain that can provide: employment for the teeming Nigerian youths, graduates of agricultural science, unlettered people, house wives and many others. Below are samples of benefits of of value chain in some of the agricultural products:

Analysis and summary

Under cotton value chain, many people can be gainfully employed under each box .Also, under Cassava value chain; various people can get engaged in each of the fifteen boxes. Cattle value chain can contain many people, including youths to work in each of the fifteen boxes. Tomato value chain contains eight boxes; each of them is capable of employing workers, while rice value chain eight boxes, of which it is capable of employing several people as well contains.

      

To be continued…

 

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