Wutg Nenrietta Gonzuk
THE contemporary world no longer views agriculture for just the purpose of food but for financial empowerment and economic development.
Farmers all over the world have helped shaped policies that concern agriculture and have contributed largely to the growth of their country’s economy by largely depending on their farm and domestic products for exportation. We know that many cannot do without agriculture whether agrarian or animal husbandry for daily usage. This has made agriculture the biggest need of man’s existence hence the financial value derived from it.
Nigerians had benefitted from agricultural boom in the past from the cocoa plantation and the famous groundnut pyramid until the discovery of oil and total neglect of the agricultural sector which was once a source of income for the country. Recent government policies on agriculture is a strong indication that once again, the sector is being revived and given necessary attention as option for the next source of revenue for the nation. Countries like Liberia, Somalia, Guinea Bissau, just to mention a few have depended on agriculture to raise revenue for their country and they are steadily thriving well.
The novel “Corona virus” that is bedeviling the economy of the world has given a strong signal that Nigeria’s dependence on oil only could be harmful to its economy. Its desperate need to sell food to other nations and generate revenue for the nation’s economy is becoming unstable. But where there is no sales there is no income.
The break away into stratas like agriculture will boost business activities in the country and also enhance healthy food supply and mitigate total dependence on importation of food.
Government policies in agriculture to encourage farmers has been massive through loan provisions, boosting revenue base of cooperatives, interface with off takers and input providers for different varieties of improved seedlings and animals, organizations like NIRSAL, CBN intervention, Anchor borrowers etc have been funded to take care of farmers and encourage alot of people to go into farming.
Plateau State is blessed with good weather, massive land and topography for agricultural activities of all sorts that may not be found elsewhere which can make Plateau State boast of being the food basket of the nation. There is hardly any kind of crop that does not grow in a local government or two on the Plateau for commercial purposes.
Also in the area of animal husbandry, the products are unique in their own way. Plateau has served as a hub for providing vegetables of international nature to other parts of the country and beyond even for commercial basis. No wonder markets like Farin Gada, Building Materials, Maikatako in Bokkos, Mangu and a lot others have made many millionaires by just being vendors or contractors.
While it is good to make men in the pursuit of what they do, unfortunately this God given fortune does not reside in the state or translate in the lives of its citizens. Those in the thick of it are not even financially comfortable and the state does not get increase in internally generated revenue from these. Yet loads of trucks carry agricultural products, leave the state daily to service homes, supermarkets and companies in other states.
In other to harness and activate financial riches for both the state and the people, there must be synergy between government agencies responsible for creating necessary policies and programmes designed to bring together producers of agricultural products for commercial purpose, sensitize and create a template for business sales and market identification.
Agricultural business producers must have information and direction to where their products will be taken to, so that middle men will not take advantage of their desperation or ignorance.
Policies on tax or levies to be paid to whatever local government or state must be well spelt out and properly enforced to avoid financial leakages.
The state government must go all out to ensure it provides guarantee for farmers that seek to access government interventions at all times and also help source for intervention that are necessary to increase the production or improve agriculture boost in the state.
Let’s once again make agriculture our oil and do business taking the advantage nature has given to us. If agric dormancy is re-awakened on the Plateau, it will empower the indigenes and will enable them pay tax and necessary levies. It will create employment and business activities and tourists will be attracted to the state. Another advantage is that urbanization will reduce drastically, negative vices such as stealing, raping and drug abuse will be reduced seriously because many will seek to do what will bring income to them.
Need for attitude change by medical personnel
With Jidauna Daring
IT is good for one to be polite to others as human beings. This is because the word polite simply refers to someone who is humble and behaves in a pleasant way especially towards other persons.
However, a patient is someone who is receiving medical treatment or is being treated for different illness or sickness in any given hospital or health centre where he may have been brought for medical attention.
I therefore think that if such places are for sick people to have a solution to their sickness, then the attitude of some of the practicing doctors and nurses must be properly checked, especially towards the patients who are either on bed admission or waiting to receive medical attention from the professionals.
It is an established fact that a hospital is equally a place where people go to seek medical attention. Depending on the illness, sometimes it becomes necessary to admit a patient when he/she needs alot of care from doctors, nurses or paramedical staff on duty.
It therefore behooves on the health personnel to as a matter of fact always have a rethink, especially on the types of words used some times on patients, who are under their care. At this point in time, all they need is tender love and care. The last thing they need is any thing that will put them down.
It is equally observed as well as reported by some patients’ care givers or their relations who accompany the patients to the hospital that this nurse or doctor is wicked or not polite. Just as the case is amongst some nurses or health officials.
What is more worrisome is the fact that even if the patients are at the point of kicking the bucket, some health personnel still use harsh or provocative words on the patients or the relations. This is very unfortunate.
Our health workers should know that it is never anyone’s wish to find himself or herself in the hospital for any treatment, but it is because of the condition of one’s health that would make one go for a treatment, in order to know his or her health condition. But then, the question is that, can all of us be doctors or nurses to treat ourselves?
It has therefore, also become a common practice in most health centres and hospitals that the misbehavior of some doctors, nurses or health workers based on my experience and even that of others who have shared with me, has become today a serious concern to patients or their relations. In most cases, they maltreat and talk without respect to people regardless of their age. No matter the rules and requlations guiding their professional calling, they act contrarily to it.
In this regard, caring, being polite and soothing words should be the watchword of the health personnel, so as to ensure effective service delivery.
What is also alarming these days in our hospitals or health centres is the exorbitant charges that are the order of the day both in public and private hospitals. The situation is gradually sending people away while seeking for medication simply because of the high cost of living and peculiarities of the times.
Indeed, some patients have been abandoned by their family or caregivers due to inability to settle exorbitant bills. The relations may not like to go out of their ways to settle the patient’s bill when discharged from the hospital or the health centre.
Of a truth, some of these exorbitant charges are mostly or sometimes not justifiable to what the patient’s have consumed in the course of receiving treatment, simply because some of these centres have become money making places.
As such, private hospitals or clinics should as a matter of concern reduce uncecessary charges in order not to compound or stress either the families or relations.
To crown it all, our medical personnel should know that sweet words give relief to the patients while moderate charges also give the patients hope when discharged.