**** Urges citizens to embrace farming


Chairman of the succor-giving and philanthropic “Sarah Enang Humanitarian Foundation”, SEHF, Engr. (Dr) Wisdom Patrick Enang, has warmly appealed to stakeholders, Ward PAs and Political Leaders across the thirty-one (31) local government areas of Akwa Ibom State, to be selfless with utmost transparency and commitment towards ensuring the successful outcome of the government's Free Food Voucher program, recently launched in all LGAs of the State.

Dr. Enang made the appeal while speaking with newsmen on the initiative on Friday, April 5, in his Uyo office. 

The Adjunct Professor of the North Dakota University, USA, who, for the umpteenth time, commended Gov. Umo Eno for nursing the idea, reiterated that the ultimate success of the initiative rests on the commitment, level of transparency, discipline and selflessness of the managers. 

He disclosed that the unfortunate economic situation that Nigeria has found itself was not for the lack of good policies and resources, but because of the lack of political will, selflessness, discipline and transparency in the implementation of same.

The globally renowned oil and gas consultant, who consults for numerous local and international energy companies, buttressed that if all previous initiatives and policies evolved by past and successive administrations where piloted with absolute sincerity and seriousness, Nigeria by now would have been a better place to live in. 

He equally posited that one of the most persistent fallacies in the analysis of the Nigerian situation, particularly on why Nigeria despite her abundant human and material resources, has remained underdeveloped, has been the lopsided insistence on the paucity of committed leaders with good ideas and concepts, lamenting that nothing could be further from the truth. 

Dr. Enang further informed that often times when leaders come up with good ideas, these concepts are often thwarted and sabotaged by corrupt and selfish drivers of such policies, ultimately frustrating the helmsmen and conceivers of such ideas. In the same vein, the astute scholar craved the indulgence of all those saddled with implementing and championing the initiative, to not stifle with the governor’s good intentions, which is designed and intended to avail food staples to the needy in the society, to support them through these difficult economic times. 

Dr. Wisdom Enang, a Fellow of both the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE) and the Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers (FNISafetyE), besides commending the Transition Committee Chairmen across the 31 LGAs of the State for abiding by Gov. Eno's mandate to replicate the Free Food Voucher launch in their respective domains, also charged them to take up the gauntlet to ensure that the initiative succeeds in their areas through proper supervision, timely opening of the redemption centers, and application of the disbursement rules and expectations, as envisioned by the Governor.

He equally urged Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen, State Commissioners and even Traditional Rulers to not remain aloof, leaving the scheme in the hands of Ward PAs alone, but to painstakingly and properly monitor the day-to-day execution proceedings of the initiative.

Dr. Enang averred that their duty here is to organize, coordinate, evaluate, scrutinize and control the distribution proceedings for ultimate success. 

Speaking further, the economic expert and public affairs analyst made reference to the case of the palliatives provided by government during the COVID-19 lockdown, where much of the grains was lamented to have been hoarded by those who were entrusted to share them across to the people, discouraging such sad recurrence. 

On the penal code for those aides and officials found wanting in the discharge of their jobs, he said they should be shown the way out to deter other saboteurs in the system who may want to thwart government's drive towards a better life for the people. 

The indefatigable and indomitable go-getter equally admonished the receivers of the free food items to be grateful enough while receiving, but urged them to return to the farm for massive involvement in farming, describing it as the only way to redeem the present food insecurity situation in the long-term.

He also intimated that it was an error for citizens not to be able to produce at least enough for their consumption, mainstay and subsistence, even as he discouraged any form of lackadaisical attitude towards farming and agriculture, which according to the international energy expert, has been the mainstay of the Akwa Ibom and Nigerian economy, even before the discovery of crude oil. 

The Essien Udim PDP Caucus member also cited the case of Malaysia, India, USA and Germany, where despite their technological advancements still dwelt heavily in farming, cognizant of the importance of food production at least for subsistence, even as he emphasized the role and importance of Traditional Rulers in encouraging people at the local level to embracingly adopt farming with commercial scalability in mind. 

Dr. Enang further reasoned that some proceeds from the sales of such farm commodities should be dipped into the community purse for development purposes, in addition to sharing the yields and harvest from such farm lands to indigenes, intoning that should efforts like this be carefully initiated and sustained, the urge to get involved in farming will be highly stimulated at all levels of the State adult population demographics. 

Known for his massive and sustained advocacy for the adoption of a value-driven approach to governance and leadership, Dr. Wisdom Enang advised that while getting involved in farming within this period of high cost of food items, the citizens should prioritize annual and not perennial crops, as our day-to-day victuals comes from same.

While soliciting for patience on the part of Akwa Ibomites during the incubation and maturation phases of the various ARISE Agenda policy thrusts, the international multiple excellence award winner expressed absolute and unwavering optimism in Gov. Umo Eno's capacity to actualize the objectives laid out to operationalize the ARISE Agenda, considering his antecedents and unfolding performance streak. He further urged Akwa Ibom people to dutifully and optimally support the government with cooperation, contacts, and well researched implementation ideas, in line with their civic obligations.

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