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Friday, June 10,20 11

DAILY TRUST

DAILY'l2TRUST - .. - -

LDI ruRL\L

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No. 20 P.O.w. Mafemi Crescent, Off Solomon liIr Way,

Utako Olmkt. AbuJa 09·6726241,67 15364

Nigeria and food security ~ent wamingbythe British charityOxfam abou t impending global food obis should be taen KriousJr o;pcdall y by Mrian cauntries. ln ils 'Growing a Htterfutun'rcpor1, Onam said the world hilS cnltted :II MW 88C of crisis, in ""hieh deplc1 ion of Ute n r1 h's natural mou rns I nd incrus· inS' y K'\'Cru li matc cblnge Implct will compound the problem of hunger. II died the cu rren t dro ugh t.s in Europe. noods In America and increasing desertifia tion In AlriC'lIS major threals to global food suPply,)'Slcm In the nut tW'odeCldes. TIlt Uni ted Na tions FoodUld Agricult ural Orglnisa tio n (FAO) h:lS njually pmliclN that environme ntal raclon (ou ld greatly affect the supply ofstaple gnins wilh I conKqucnl hike in prices. These ao: ind~ worrilOme forecasts that th~aulhoriltcs in Nigeria n,usl lde toh2rtasa wakeup caU Ind put into p~ctia'aU thc promiKS of m'aIlI.pin!: IbcagricuJlural SKIOf. Wilh rul arable but onuUliud land, pncliClI nltansshould not be In shortsuppl)'logrowcnough 10 f«d thc nl iion's f:lSt-gro,\;ng population. SlsniRcanU,., both ODam and FAO are dn1l'in15 allcntit'n to this S«tor at a time that is: the fanning season in Nigeria, whcn the governmcnl 51-ould be Irnplcmwti ng prognmmcs to boost food production. Erforts towards attaining food sufficiency mUlt leriou!lymnt mcnn nO I\, In ordcr 10 averl the crisis tha t both 0rBaniution! hnc predicted. N; tlonll'lde,'uthorilitli al both stales .nd f~cn l lel'ds should encmutoge bnck·to·lnnd "heme! by making fanning to be In aU rRctivc venture for particularl)' Ihe lugc army of unemp lol"~ rou lhs. In .dditionlo litis, stepuhould be laken 50 that mo rc fanncn haR Icets! 10 Inpuis tha i will cue fanni ng. The UK of tracton for lilliog the soll!J fasl replacinglr.!ditional implentCJIIS like hoes and cutluscs, which 10: still thecommon lools in tbisenvironment. Anrmove to make agriculture the baclboncorthc economyun hard lysucctW withoul lhc accessof the: majority of fumtT5 to Improl'Cd 5«ds, fcrti lizer, soft loaos- Iands and modern implements. Officials and experls in the minbtrics of agricult ure should seiu: thc opporiunlty that Ihe rai ny .cason prtM:nts 10 provide \·Ital agricultural ioput li ke ~lings. ad\'lsory extension services and fertilizers to the farming community. Then is always Ihe need 10 ensure ncly;ork fur the distri bulion of such ma tcrlals is effectivel y worked out • nd monitored to elirni na lc middlemen who may sabo t ~gc thc proeesl fo r thci r selfish gaios. Fumen shou 1d let what ther need easily and It affordab lc prien. Thc rei·Ivai ofthc nllion', local fcrtiliter plantswiIJ go I loog way to facilitatc a¢c ul luo: u im portation bas onl)' served 10 Incrcuc lICudty whilecnrichingcorrupl officials. In ordcr 10 A nitiu the system aod make it Tt!'uh-oricnlw, gO\'C"fftlllcnl offida15 tha.tare fou nd wanting In thc aecillion of their functions should be promplly disciplined. Agriculture is too critiClilto oational dC"el op~ t Ihat il Clnnot be torcd m th_ Thr gov-rrnmCftt should par greater attenlion to food prodUdion age-ncies nnder the Ftderal Minist ryor A¢culture, to reduce Ihc hu ge- WlStes tha~ occur thcrc and make thcm ali n: to thei r m~n­ da les. Rq;:retlablr, the Ril'er Buln Development Autho rit ies thai should enMnce food prod uction hll'c bcmmc con t racl~awuding establishments. ThCY5ho uid be repositioned 10 pcrform Iheirslatu toryfunclions, including irrigation agric ulture a nd extension sco·icc to loal farmcn to Impro\·e yidds. Thc n rious rrsca rch Inst itutes Ihal arc meanl lo i mp«we Ihc food situation cquaUy need to be propcrl)" fundtd to confron l cmcrg· IngchaUenges. or particular imporlance is Ihe prorisloo of silos especiall y in runl .reas lor the Itorage of anSI farm producc. AJ!hoogb, the ministry of Igriculture reccn llrcoPJt rucled additional silos natioowlde, more lte It ill required, in thc absencc of ra il way system that can .ccommodlte huge haulageof farm prod ua' to ur bln a'ntrcs for salt. This ..-ay, 10sKS would be minimized and fannen will facc Ins frul tntion. In thc far norih region, II'h rrc drought" common, adeq uatc irriga tio n facilities Ire req uired 10 reline lhe problems farmen in l uch arcu fact. Anlmll husbandry and fish fumi nA should Ilso be encouraged. Though largelICa1e mechaniJed farm ing Is Important, il is neassa'1' no 10 ignore thc reln·anec of th~ peasant rarmers In any effort aimed I t suslainable food prnductlon prognmme.

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KABIRU A... YUSUF: o..~nlChiel ExKutiYt Offic.e<

ISIAQ AJIBOlA: M...aginv OI,KtorlChItf Operating Ollic:cr MAHNIR DANAU: E>:«UlI~ Ok«1.01"/ Ed"rtor......Ch!tf AliU M. AKOSHllE: Genet.t Ma~. llutines & Slnteqy M AHM UO JEGA.: Edltol. o.ilyTrun SHEHU O. MOH AMMtD: Ant.Geneial M.nage<. FlOine. GARBA ALlYU ABUBAI(f\R: Asst. ~t Man"9ef (IT) AI( EEM MUSTA PHA, f\d~t Mana9f'< .- m .U,oplnion~.t l )'1 ", It. <om

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Bankole: Culprit, pawn or scapegoat? I an almost wlddy acknowledged fact th~ t any situation 8y Zainab Usman in\'Ohing hug~ sums of moocy and weallh, its allocation BaM ole !he paWD and distribution has politial Whilc most Nigcrilns Ire eagtr to dynamia surrounding It. The prt- wdcome any sincerterrort al tadling cise nature or dimension these policorru ption, manyare ~cptiul about tia take is something thai has locked' thi~ particular cast and the..IfiY it 11 economists and political sci(nl1sl.!( bcink p,Ursutd:, Many Inconsistencies over a turf-war of sorlS o\-ff' who Is • abound raising nertinent questions encroaching on whok' territory and such u: how come It look so long 10 polllkal t(Ooomist.s in-be:tv."«n. Con- unnrth Ihl':5e sordid, corropt dtalings sequently, corroption -embculement by Bankolc? If nllicr attemplSon FriInd mismanagcment of public funds- day lun~ 03rd by the EFCC to Irrest is vcrr much political jlUlas the anllth- him werc thwarled by the IGP (prersis, Inti-<orruption iSC"uy bit poIitlsumably on orden from above), then cal as well. whal madc the IGP and the powers Ihll The reetot COITuption scan- be have I change of heart not to intcrdal "itkh thc immediate former I'tnC In Bankolesarrcs1 on Sundarf On Spuk:er of thc House of Representa. whost orden; WlS thc IGP aCling on Ilves, Dimeji Bankolc is embroiled In, in tM lint pbcrl If Bankolc was able 10 nnbculc so much, thcn what aboul Iiong with lhe 5peed Ind fCl''Our with which thc government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) havc pursued his aHutaoo indictmenl takes a particularly Inleresting dimension given all Ihc politial dynamics and intrigues 5urrounding it Ooe is \eft 10 wonder "'hcth" BJnkok rcally is a culprit and is as guilt) as they come, is a pawn in a larger pclitial chessboard ofi.oningW;nd pov."Cr.sharing schcming or il a scapegoat in a rUSt lowards the other priocipal offKmof not just the HOU5CofRcpresentativcs, but the Stninlemational community. atc as wdl! HO\~ come tlte spotlight Bankolc !hcculprit Th~ former Sp"k~ r, Sankole is nu and intensc Krulin)' is not on thcm? Slranger to allegatiOns of corruption How comc the EFCC is now in such a hurry to nab Bankole when Ihcl~ and misappropriation of public fund5 which hfie trailed him for a number arc cases of 31 Cl·gt"»l'rnOB pending of rears now - from the N2.3 brllion since 20071 Come to think of ii, didn~ scam O\"Cr the: procuremenl of official the EFCC o.air in 2008 ~ale that eviPeugeol vehicles for HOU5C Members dence was still btinggathered against 10 the Illegnions made by Housc n"lrnl- tbcm bccaU5C their files wtrt missing ben like Hon. Dino Mda)"t, Hon. lnde· wh ilc ther havc betn squandering pendence Oguncwc and otOm ,,·hkh and enjoying thcir 1II-gotltoloot? Or as \\"t 111 reme-nlber resulted in tltc is there I scope and time·frame for the EFCC and by implication, thc governcmburassing (rtt·for·all fisticuff in Ihc hallowed grttn chambers last year. mcnt's anli-corruplion crundc - say, from 2010whm Jonllhan a!.Sumed the This time uound, "'hll got Bankolc into lroublc was thc lnan mantl~ ofludership onwards? WHh all these inconsistencies of NIO billion he obt~ined us ing the National As3rnlbly KcountS as collat- thercfore, thc main question is thaI; tral right after hc 1051 hn te·election is Bankolc simplr a pa"'O in a larger bid. Whilt thc initial assumption was polilical chessboard of polit ricu and that lhe loan was a personal one. in balanccof JlO"I'!'r .schcminglM ruling a supposed desptta.le last attempt It party is famous for? II is 00 hiddto flCl that the Presiprimilil~ accumulation to cumiDn thl sudden loss of offKial pririltgt and it.s dency and top hierarchy of tht PDP perks, it bcc:amc incmling/y d Ar .mt spar~ no cffort 10 p~vent the emerthe loan was securcU 10 fool increascs gence of thc widcll'-fayourcd Hon. In quuterl), allowanCe! fo r House Aminu Wuiri Tambuwl I on Monda)' mcmbcrs. Days latcr, other shady asSpcakcr oflhe House ofRcproentldCllswcrc unearthed asSI billion was li\"tS in fa\'OUr of thlr anointed unalleg~ly found in ooe of Bankole's didate, lion. Mulikat Adeola-Abndc domidliary bank accounts operated which ther WlSuccessf"ully tried to by proly. In addition, Bankolc WI5 impost on the House. Tht gisl is that said 10 have refused 10 apptar before Tambuwal and other oifKtn ¥>'Crc to Ihc £FCC for queslioning and earlitf bt implicaled in this NIObillion naira attcmpts to arrest him wtrt foiled by loan scandal mng "ith Bankole to no olher than thc Inspector Genm l pm'tTIt his nncrgcna' as Speaur, so ofPolke(lGP}. that the HOU5C would be under the linn Undcmandlbly, Nigerians arc grip of lhe Pr"tSidcncy .nd Ihe PDP and 5hoold be justifiably and suffi- National WorkingCommittec{NWq. Ciently outraged II s.uch stupendous Thil is why Tambuwal had to disguise arnount of monty being misappro· himself on Mondar to gai n access inlo priated and laundered, ~buse of offlCc the House chambC'r undet«ted. 10 privilegc and brazcn disrt&ard for and avoid being arrested I nd thereby hal'e pervnlion of!hc rult of IIW at the his dwKes ofbcc:omingspcakcr jeopexpense of thc impovcrish~ must$. ardized. Thissounds like the plot "'OfThus Bankoles arresl by the EFCC thy of a Robert Ludlum novel! now that hc is no longer COI"CTtd by The Presidency and PDP biZconstitutional immunity should be I wigs pr~fClrcd the candidacy of Hon. welcome relicf to everyone, symbolic Mulibt Adeola-Abodc because nol oflM ·fm;h air""l' have betn prom- onl)" wasshe tht First Ladys Inointed Ised from the stcnch of corruption candidate{ah! ah!! Fint Ladyagain!?}, alluound thE country and I pointer but also because the party zoned thc to thE Presiden!'s · transformationposilion 10 thc South West where Mulikal hails from. Never mind that agenda and commitmcnt to anti-cor· ruplion or is it! PDP top-shots SOn1C months ago

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ffii How come theEFCC isnow in'such ahurry i to nab Bankole whenthereare cases of31 ex-governorspending since 200n

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declared zoning to be: ·undemocratic·, ·unconstitutional" and "dead" 10 pa\"C wa)' for the emergence of Jona than as prc:sidcnt against that principlt,lhc)' now 5C'!'m to bt tating their own wQrds Ind\'Omil Bankole thtsupt'-goat Or il could be Ihat Bankole IS simply a scapegOll, and Ihi5(JI"C!r-uaIous commitm~nt to his ur"tSt and prosecu· lion by th~ EFCC and the go\'ttnment is a ruse munt In pulllht wool over tIM: eye ortM inlcrnational communitr especially as Presldcnt Jonathan is now in the US attending I UN Steurity Council Summit on IlIV/A IDS and would subsequently m«I with US Prcsidtol Barack Obima. Gifcn 11M: ladluslrc performancc of thc EFCC Ol'f'r th~ pasl one year, thc calibr~ of people around Mr. lonalhan Ihat have a litany of rraud IlIesltioos agaill5t

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thtm such IS el· Prtliident Olnsc· gun Obasanjo's plOmiT\(nl role in thc cxpenditurc of $16 billion for powcr sector r~fornl that has never becn sufficiently accounlcd for. and Chid Anthon)' Ancnih·s Iioudini tactics that madc N300bn allocated to his ministry f01" projects that \\l! havc nol5C'!'n, amongst other$, il coold be argued that President Jonalhan is desperate to shol\' the US in p<ltliculu a (fmu) commilmrnt to txkling the menace of corruption, gi~n that the US had issued a !iC.1Ithingcriticlsm 0( the EFCC undcr Fuida Wniri"s Indership. Thus despile Ihe EPCCs c1ainlS that it had reecil"Cd numerous p(li. lion5 10 inl'u tigalt fraud .llegalions against thc a -speaker,this N10 bilJlon loan takcn by Hankolc in Ihe twIlight of his lenure pl us thc intcnK altenlion the case has rtcrivtd all couldn·t hal't happcncd at a mo~ appropriatc lime for I new Idministration dogged by dismal record in effectively tackling corruption to cash in on. ug<'flo prove a point. rom whatevcr angle onc looks at thc situation, there uc leri · ous political dl'namics at pIa)' In the a-Speaker Bankole frlud saga and thc drcision of tM gOl'ernment and the EFCC 10 pulsue his proseculion at this st;ge. The hope of most Nigtrians howcvtr is that political inlrigues notwitrutanding. Bankolc if found guilty WQUId bt mlde to flCe the fuB ¥>"r.Ith of the law, and that he would not cnd up wilh a sbp on the wrl.!1 or an ulLra-shorl jaillum IS Tafa IbiD· gun's or Bodc George's. This is a new administr;lion, ifPtcsident ronathan WilI11S to be takcn seriou5Jy in Ihl! pUI· ported ualou$ attcmpt attaclding (or· ruption, thto juslice mould be all()ll"ed to pr~I and the numerous pending Ca5CS of many other former public office holden especially Cl-govcrnon should be dust~, re·opcncd. rnumed and pl'O$C'Cutcd with 1$ much ttl\, fen'Ou r. commitmcnl and spttd u Bankolcs il beingpursucd now. bina" UJlllrtn IJlff'n lcmalioMI

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De.'tllfpmen fDepflrlltltn l, Unil'tnil1 of Birn, ingll flJn , (lr llp:IIII'li'Il'.Ulinn-

blw/uln.I<"Ordprw.com)

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DAILY TRUST, 10 JUNE, 2011  

Nigeria and food security

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