The Oasis Reporters
March 29, 2018
In any democratic setting, there must be freedom of choice. Asked about some Nigerians who educate their children abroad, President Buhari once said that there are people who can afford it.
Therefore, what is wrong if Nigerians with the wherewithal to order pizzas from London decide to do so ? Why are they being cast as people doing the wrong thing ?
It so happens that there are people in London and other parts of the UK and also in the US, who eat nothing else but Nigerian foods, flown in from Nigeria. It yields income to many citizens back in the country. The lovers of Nigerian foods abroad are not all ethnic Nigerians. Many of them are Europeans, Asians, etc.
Should we be shocked at them too?
Nigerian fashion is all over the Western world. It yields income to makers in the country. Therefore is it really a bad idea if we got some pizzas imported from London too ?
Methinks Agriculture minister, Audu Ogbeh who was first a minister in 1979 and he is again a minister 40 years after when his grandchildren’s age mates are Prime Ministers and presidents today ought to have advised Nigerian youths to go into the business of pizza making that can be tastier than London pizzas to get into the act and take over a larger chunk of the business to stop the flow of pizza from Europe here, and possibly export pizzas to Ghana and other West African countries first.
But we need forward thinking leaders first who see opportunities for growth, rather than opportunities for indignation and he recriminations. But the leaders must expunge analogue approach to viewpoints first.
Brazilian grass can be imported for cattle in Nigeria. But London pizzas must be ridiculed for any mention of it’s importation into Nigeria with someone’s hard earned money.
We should put a hold on hypocrisy !
The news quoted the Agriculture minister, Audu Ogbeh as expressing shock that some Nigerians order pizza from London through British Airways before the Senate Committee on Agriculture on March 27. “It is a very annoying situation and we have to move a lot faster in cutting down some of these things”, he told the lawmakers.
Speaking further, the Minister said
”Nigeria is a nation of importers”, adding: “Toothpick every year costs us 18 million dollars; tomato paste costs us 400 million dollars. Meanwhile, a basket of tomatoes is less than N2,000. The farmers are losing money because the processors do not have enough funds to set up factories. Two factories have started off. I am sure by the end of next year we can comfortably tell the importers of tomato paste to stop.”
During Audu Ogbeh’s Senate confirmation hearings at the inception of the Buhari administration in 2015, he played to the gallery with the same toothpick analogy. As the regime winds down it’s first tenure barely two months away, here he is with the same populism.
What did the honourable minister do differently to turn Nigeria’s vast wood reserves to toothpicks in order to create jobs and save the country $18 million?