By Abdulwasi’i Ilyas
Bill Gate’s paradigm
Bill Gates of Microsoft and Governor Masari of katsina state have one thing in common. They are both embarking on a trip to checkmate endemic poverty among women in rural places. Agriculture is where they find their rallying point. Observers to whom smart devices have been the major determinants of their style of adult living finds it deeply appalling that in the information era, government is empowering citizens with goats and not with PCs.
I couldn’t help but to differ with that standpoint, so my drawing the Bill/Masari analogy, giving that Bill Gates is globally idealized and even idolized.
Bill and Masari are at poles apart with regards to the sources of funds for their respective initiatives and their choice of animal. Bill Gate’s choice animal for husbandry is chicken and the sponsor of his project is his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. An avenue Bill uses to shelve excess cash from his towering vaults.
Masari’s source of funds for his goats breeding project is a small and medium scale entrepreneurship development loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The prospects of the scheme appears bright from the point of view of the systems entrenched to oversee its implementation.
It appears to be an initiative ‘built to last’. From inception, the scheme passes the litmus test of a business with prospects of success. That is if the government is not playing a fast one on us this time.
Ideas built on systems make formidable businesses
Hereunder are the four factors I mulled over before making the above assertions. The goat project is in sync with novel animal husbandry technology. They are highbred, well vaccinated, with guaranteed extension services, and have been insured .
“Research has showed that the goats reproduce twice a year and give up to two liters of milk daily. “The goats are also insured for one year and veterinary officers will be going round in all the local governments to provide medication to the animals if the need arises,’’ Alhaji Abdulkadir Nasir, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic Empowerment, said.
That Africa is poor, is a submission obliging our acceptance in its entirety and without any reservations whatsoever. No paying of lip service. Ingratiating our badly bruised egos is a disservice to our common cause, and it must be jettisoned at all cost.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Katsina rural communities
The recipients of these initiatives are mostly women living in rural areas, in place most torched by the raging flames of extreme poverty. They are unlettered and can’t even wield a pen. They are not exposed to the fundamentals of math and science required to ‘code’ their way out of poverty or pursue successful careers in other hi-tech fields.
An indispensable component of the Masari goat project (pertinent to every project), that the government must pursue to its logical conclusion is the monitoring and controlling phase that will maintain strict adherence to best practices. This will also help ensure that the systems analysis implemented are critically applied.
Raising animals is a profitable business that has made more millionaires than meets the eyes. Most people are over accustomed to paid employments and fail to see how goats and chickens will pay them more than their jobs. It is easy for these lots to cast aspersions at Masari and Bill’s initiatives.
There are entrepreneurs who have amass wealth through goat breeding and chicken rearing enough to ditch there so-called good jobs.While it is our statutory responsibility to monitor power, it behoves our sense of integrity to applaud those at the corridors of power whenever they get something right. Media criticism are vehicles to that object not the object itself.
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