It is naive and utopian to think that we can just walk unto the world market and buy the equipment we want, in the quantities we want, at the price we want and at the time we want it. Do we really think everyone else just manufactures goods and stores them in warehouses waiting for Nigerian orders?
If we are serious about diversifying our economy, a company like John Deere must open at least one manufacturing plant in Nigeria. I would like to see foreign direct investment from John Deere similar to the plant it opened in Domodedovo, Russia, or the $50m factory it opened in Tianjin in China to produce four-wheel-drive loaders and excavators.
- Two-wheel tractors
- Cultivators which stir and pulverize the soil
- Cultipackers which crushes dirt clods, remove air pockets and presses down small stones, forming a smooth, firm seedbed
- Chisel ploughs used for deep tillage with limited soil disruption
- Harrows used for breaking up and smoothing out the surface of the soil
- Land imprinters used for establishing grass cover in arid environments and deserts
- Ploughs used for loosening or turning the soil before sowing seed or planting
- Seed drills used by positioning seeds in the soil and burying them to a specific depth
- Irrigation sprinklers
- Manure spreader used to distribute fertilisers
As part of a radical Nigerian agricultural, animal husbandry and aquacultural programme, every herdsman, Almajiri and destitute just either be given a job in a cattle ranch, employed in a factory, trained to work in an animal feed compounder or be directly involved in agricultural production. Again, as this is a land issue, it falls to state governors to take the initiative.
From an economic standpoint, the weakest link in the Nigerian chain is the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). If the NGF was functioning properly, we would probably not even notice President Buhari’s shortcomings.
I would love to see an NGF delegation visit John Deere’s headquarters in Illinois next month. I am sure they could easily sell a plan to the company’s board of directors that would justify opening a manufacturing facility in Nigeria.