Permit me a space in your widely read newspaper to express my views on the need to support the Federal Government in boosting rice production in Nigeria.
Rice is one of the staple foods in this part of the world, though the ban placed on foreign rice has made it somewhat hard for some Nigerians to enjoy rice due to the stones found in local rice which now floods the landscape. As good as the idea of encouraging local production is, it has some attendant negative consequences which need to be checked, including high cost of the commodity. Before the ban by the present Federal Government, Nigerian markets were filled with foreign rice and it was affordable with people having options. However, one looks at it, the ban on rice importation into the country is a welcome development and a blessing in disguise as Nigeria is mainly known for her love and high preference for foreign goods or products.
For Nigeria to put a restriction on rice importation, we need to be well prepared and able to produce what we want to stop importing. Local farmers alone lack the facilities to facilitate the production of rice. Farmers are unable to cope with demand. Many farmers do not have mechanical help and infrastructure that can meet up the market demand without government intervention. Some of the local rice are okay for consumption, while some are not even good to the sight, much less to consume. Some of the production need more sophisticated materials to make the production effective and successful. Before cooking this rice one has to pick out the small stones, rice husks before being able to eat the rice without caution.
To enhance our production there is need for more investment into the agricultural sector. There is needs for upgrade to meet up the market demand of rice and marketing of rice at a cheap price. Government need to put in more resources to improve agricultural growth by training the local farmers, educating them on rice production, giving grants or low interest loans, providing fertilizers, providing machine that will make the cultivation and harvest of rice easy.
The government also need to carry out rice farming project across the country and other important agricultural farming project to create job opportunities. Our local rice should also be suitable for consumption first before thinking of export. That way we can hold our heads high and pride ourselves over food sufficiency, a development that will also boost the national economy.
Ken-Saro Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori
We Need Jobs
Growing up, l was told that job seekers in the country used to rely on newspapers for job opportunities. That time, people used to buy newspapers, turned to the vacancies page (especially Guardian on Tuesday), find one or more vacancies, and send their applications.
In response to the applications, they got interviews and got jobs without knowing or sleeping with anyone.
Today, the story is different. There are no jobs. The few available ones are reserved for children of the rich, politicians and the well connected persons. We have often heard stories of how female job seekers who are asked by employers to sleep with them.
For two years l have been roaming the streets of Port Harcourt searching for any job all to no avail. Even my Second Class (Upper) result has not paved any way for me. The same ugly experience is witnessed by many graduates across the country. Yet, our federal and state governments claim to be creating employment for the youths. They spend billions of naira on politics and other irrelevant matters while the youth, the future leaders of the country, are left to wallow in hunger and poverty.
I think it’s high time our leaders took the affairs of our young ones seriously. They cannot continue to neglect the youths who are still complaining of the rising cases of robbery and other forms of crime in the country. Urgent measures must be taken by government at all levels to cater for our teeming unemployed youths if we hope to have a better, crime-free society.
By: Christian Amadi, Igwuruta, Port Harcourt.
Wastes Are A Threat To The Environment
I feel so sad with the disorderliness in the citizens of the nation towards environmental hygiene. People are busy complaining of how the environment is unsafe and harmful to public health and I ask who is to blame for this because even some of the complainants are not ready to help in keeping the society clean.
Talking about waste as a threat to the environment is particularly pointing out how the citizen’s lives are endangered by some citizens of the state.
Wastes are unwanted, unusable and worthless materials. The household refuse and body waste which is the urine and faeces are the major causes of environmental pollution in the country today.
Our society is faced with the challenge of environmental pollution caused from several activities of members of the society. Food consumption and usage of other materials is an act that can never be stopped or rather controlled among members and, because of this, the multiplication of waste is on a daily basis.
Nigeria is a country where people find pleasure in dumping refuse on the street, causing blockage in the drainages, urinating on walls and even street drainages. Some individuals don’t mind answering to nature’s call on the street which is not proper.
I am suggesting that the government should take a fast and positive step in keeping the country clean by making provision of public waste vehicles on the streets, provide public toilets at the market, public schools and motor parks and most importantly waste cans on the streets and authorized places for waste disposal which won’t cause harm to any individual. Rules and regulations should be made to guide the people on waste disposal and failure to keep to the rules that individual should face penalty for doing so.
By: Precious Nwiuebari, Kenpoly, Bori.
Security Is Everybody’s Business
Security is one very important business that cannot be left in the hands of the law enforcement agencies alone, but something that should start with us.
According to the Prime Minister of the Solomon’s Island, Hon. Manasseh Sogavane, “security must start with us. Security is everybody’s business; we cannot be complacent with the security of our nation nor can we assume that there will be no security threat”.
These words can be likened to the words of an active and responsible leadership.
Notwithstanding, the security issue in our state and our nation, at large cannot be over emphasized. From kidnapping to piracy, from piracy to oil theft to communal crises and a lot more. Kudos to the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who has worked tirelessly to see that the security challenges in Rivers State are reduced to the minimum by providing for the Nigeria Police in Rivers State in order to fight crime, and have also provided information for the different law enforcement agencies in the state.
This issue of insecurity will not end until everyone assumes full responsibility of their roles.
Although at one time or the other some people had lost hope in the law enforcement agents, it is important to note that everyone should continue to work together to realize or achieve the Rivers dream as emphasized by the state governor. We must always respect each other and learn to uphold our values as good people of Rivers State.
By: Theresa Ebizimor, Port Harcourt.
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