A clarion call has gone to the government on two main issues. The first has to do with how to improve food production in the country while the second borders on a state of emergency should be declared on education, just as an appeal has been made to youths to beware of disclosing their personal information to strangers they meet on social media because of the dire consequences of such actions.
To begin with, a Professor of Plant Nutrition, Mufutau Atayese, has charged the government, researchers and farmers to focus on sustainable crop nutrition practices such as organic farming, biofertilization, precision agriculture, and integrated nutrient management, to increase crop yield and quality while minimising environmental impact. The professor and others made the call in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as he admonished government agencies and agro-allied industries to support research initiatives focused on crop nutrition, soil health and sustainable agriculture, to boost agricultural productivity. According to him, “Nigerians should consider heavy investment in agriculture, as it is done in other sectors of the economy like oil and gas and real estate, among others for the country to be food sufficient”.
The don reiterated that federal universities of agriculture should emphasise on innovative nutrient management techniques in agricultural training to elicit the interest of students and farmers. Meanwhile, he urged the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) to promote recent developments and sustainable innovations in their research activities to educate and empower farmers, stressing that they should also educate consumers about the importance of nutrient-rich foods and the role of sustainable crop production in ensuring nutritional security. Prof. Atayese explained that the producer in this context, is the plant; and that people must make sure that it performed optimally, saying food security had to do with availability of high quality food in the right proportions. He posited that there are lots of social problems facing agriculture in Nigeria, such as lack of purchasing power, among others.
In addition to boosting agricultural production, the Federal Government has been called upon to declare a state of emergency in the education sector in order to revamp the dwindling quality of education in the country. This advice was given by a public speaker and leadership consultant, Hon. Ayo Mayami, who said one of the reasons for establishing schools in the time past was to impart knowledge and not for profit making, adding that the reasons for establishing schools nowadays had been compromised. He reiterated that parent-teacher partnerships had assisted in enhancing, widening and restructuring the level of education in the country, stressing that before the advent of western education, parents had been imparting knowledge on their children as first teachers from the home-front.
Mayami posited that lack of effective communication and indiscipline were the major factors responsible for the fallen standard of education in the country, noting that a lot of parents had thrown away societal norms and values, with a charge that parents must inculcate morals and discipline in their children to have sound and all-round education. The leadership consultant, however, called on the government and other stakeholders in the education sector to come out and brainstorm, saying that all hands must be on deck to salvage the nation’s educational system from total collapse that could jeopardise the future of our youths and the quest of Nigeria to advance through educational pursuits and development. This is why it is imperative for our young ones to be wary of unworthy practices that would enable them have a bright prospects in life.
It is for this reason that a professional counsellor, Mrs. Modupe Ogungbe, has charged them to be more security-conscious, especially the female gender and be skeptical by desisting from sharing their personal information while searching for romantic partners on the Internet, in order not to fall victim of online scammers. Ogungbe said that things are fast degenerating in the world of today, adding that people want to get rich at all cost, stressing that the youth should be careful in divulging their personal information online. She emphasised that even though, no man is perfect, but that as soon as people get scammed online, they should seek professional help because the trauma could lead to depression or death, if not properly handled, noting that, most times, parents are guilty, as some of them push their female children into sexual immorality with their laissez-faire attitude.
She equally called on teachers not to limit their responsibility to academic exercise alone, but they should also impart morals into their students. Mrs. Ogungbe, however, reiterated that there should be collective responsibility in tackling the menace of online scammers in the country, pointing-out that parents, teachers, religious leaders and law enforcement agencies have significant roles to play in keeping the country safe and healthy for all and sundry. In the final analysis, the recommendations given by Prof. Atayese, Hon. Mayami and Counsellor Ogungbe should be looked into by ensuring that all stakeholders carry out their tasks at enhancing food production, engendering virile educational system, and nurturing responsible youths for the country.