RESCUE MISSION – AGRICULTURE & THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY AS VIABLE OPTIONS TO ILLEGAL MIGRATION – THE ERA OF WHITE COLLAR JOBS IS GONE: by Femi Adelegan
Events of the past few years in Libya and European nations combine to invite our attention to the reality – Our fate and future lie in our own hands. No foreign interest would be genuinely concerned about the development of our society like Nigerians. It is to be noted that no amount of foreign interest or support would be adequate to substitute for indigenous engagement in finding solutions to our common problems. No solution can be more enduring than home-grown solutions. It was common in the 1950s 60s and 70s, to find fresh university graduates walking straight from their campuses into employments in the civil service and the private sector as senior officials with fantastic salary packages. In actual fact, organizations visit the campuses to recruit promising graduates before the completion of their studies. Within one week, they would have secured car loans to purchase their first cars, rent beautiful apartments, marry their suitors and commence building highly lucrative careers. The jobs are no longer there as the market is saturated. It is obvious that following the global economic reconfiguration, Africa’s leadership must be prepared to adjust and adapt in order to put in place the necessary structural adjustments. It has been established that social development programmes may fail if misdirected to a wrong target audience.
We all must, therefore, muster all the resources available, and strategize for the implementation of programmes structured to reach the target audience. The dreams and aspirations of the young ones are every so often violated by such vices as child labour, forced marriages, discrimination, violence, lack of equal opportunities, and shirking of responsibilities by parents and organizations with parental responsibilities. There are enormous opportunities in Nigeria waiting to be tapped. One of the problems created by the discovery of crude oil is the neglect of Agriculture which used to be the mainstay of the economy. People abandoned the farms in millions to seek greener pastures and good living in cities and urbanized settlements. Youths too look up to thousands of Nigerians making a living in Western countries and seek to join them. If they can’t go through the legitimate process, they pursue the ambition of travelling abroad with reckless abandon. They forget that the Western nations of decades ago are no longer as vibrant as they were because they now have their own challenges that have made them tighten immigration regulations. The European Union in fact funds the building of detention centres in Libya to halt the trend of illegal migration which is hurting the economy of Europe. Those residing abroad will inform you that the good times are gone. There is unemployment in the Western world, just as there are homeless people, failures and criminals roaming the streets of the developed world.This is in addition to social problems that are not in tandem with the cultures of Nigeria. Many people have great brains but don’t really put them to profitable use. A person would only be able to utilize his or talents if he or she discovers such latent gifts. Creativity derives from being creative. Every human being has some innate or inherent capabilities deposited in them by the Creator.
Former United States president, Barack Obama’s public speech during his year 2009 visit to Ghana, pointed out this fact when he asserted that “Africa’s future is up to Africans’, and that “Development depends on good governance; and that is the ingredient that has been missing for too long in Africa. “And that is the responsibility that can be met in Africa only by Africans.” Studies have shown that Agriculture holds the key to prosperity in Africa as the sub-sector has the capability of helping Africa’s economic transformation and offer a solution to some of the challenges facing the continent and the world; particularly the high rate of youth unemployment in Africa; human trafficking and the high rate of illegal migration of young Africans into Europe; sustainably kick-starting Africa’s industrialization; and preventing religious radicalization and combating terrorism. President of African Development Bank, Dr. AkinwumiAdesina asserts that “the agricultural sector in Africa has four times the power to create jobs and reduce poverty than any other sector. “That is why we make the claim that we can diminish the migrant crisis in Europe by supporting agricultural transformation in Africa.” In remarks at the 2017 G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy, back in May, Adesina expanded on this vision when he said that “the future of Africa’s youth does not lie in migration to Europe” nor should it be “at the bottom of the Mediterranean.”
Adesina in his remarks at the opening of a conference on the 2015 Action Plan for African Agricultural Transformation in Dakar said that an agribusiness-driven economy could be one of the economic reasons Africa’s youth should choose to remain on the continent. “We must turn rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity. “This requires new agricultural innovations and transforming agriculture into a sector for creating wealth. ‘’We must make agriculture a really cool choice for young people. The future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come initially from agriculture.” Adesina suggested an economic theory of industrialization that sees Africa’s industrialization starting from the agricultural sector. “The reality is that agro-industrialization has the greatest potential for Africa to achieve more rapid and inclusive growth – and create jobs… If you want industrialization of Africa, and massive job creation, focus on industrializing the agriculture sector. Adesina argued that to rapidly modernize agriculture, youth must be engaged in the sector and perception must change for youths to regard agriculture see agriculture as a business. (Thisday Newspaper of November 24, 2017)
THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY
People could be more gifted than one another in certain endeavours. Talents and capacities vary. It is possible for a person to be a talented vocalist, but a failure in playing the organ. To be creative is explained as ‘’having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas: using the ability to make or think of new things: involving the process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created’’ (Marriam Webster Dictionary) Being creative could be by way of inventions, or the ability of a person to use his or her brain or endowments to perform some tasks that are relatively unique. Thinkers are best positioned to be creative. You must think deeply to be successful in every human endeavour. Thoughts are translated into gains. Several people have carved their names in gold in the area of inventions. Some did, but were never known because they lived in obscurity. Others too invented some useful items which their societies never bothered to encourage and so, lost great opportunities. In the past few decades, remarkable achievements have been recorded in the creative industry. The age of the computer and the Internet is contributing phenomenally to the process of change and development. Several people have carved their names in gold in the area of inventions and innovations.
Bill Gates, an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation is a classic example of what resilience and dedicat5ion could do. Coming back home in Nigeria, the common urge is to search for white collar jobs. In the process, endowed people fail to utilize their brains for gainful accomplishments. You too could use your brains, intellect, wisdom, and creative talents to invent. Several thousands of people have been known to excel in different areas. Large numbers of Nigerians are doing well in music, acting, arts, crafts, small and medium sized investments, barbing, sewing, tailoring and other areas. Some went into the financial services sector and used their acumen to emerge leaders. Many of them like Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, UNESCO Artiste for Peace – late Twin Seven-Seven and other members of the Osogbo School of Arts like JimohBuraimoh and MurainaOyelami are tremendously fulfilled. Some of these notable people are products of self-efforts. Others like Sade Adu, King Sunny Ade, SikiruAyinde Barrister, Ebenezer Obey, Lagbaja, Mo Abudu, OmotolaJalade-Ekeinde, Bolanle Austen-Peters, John Fashanu, AsizatOshoala, ToyosiAkerele-Ogunsiji, and Funke Akindele have carved their names in gold. Instead of planning to run abroad illegally, our young ones could emulate them by being creative, committed, dedicated, and resilient in the pursuit of whichever goal they decide to pursue. You need not roam the streets when there are productive issues waiting for your attention. You don’t have to run abroad before you could succeed in life. (This is an excerpt from a new book titled: ‘FOREIGN TRAVELS, PORTS, BORDER POSTS & IMMIGRATION MATTERS’ – Steps to Successful Utilization of Border Posts – authored by Femi Adelegan)
EXCERPT FROM FOREWORD: One notable feature in this book is Femi Adelegan’s strong plea to Nigerians to stop migrating abroad, particularly illegal migration, due to the harshness of the economy; but stay at home to join hands to build a truly great and prosperous Nigeria. This, he says, could be realized by enforcing good governance through legitimate and democratic options. The author equally encourages Nigerians to abandon sycophancy and other ills that have plagued the nation, and resolve to make the people the key components of governance who could take the political class to task. They could do this by empowering themselves democratically to choose/elect their representatives freely and democratically. The author states that: “Nigerians must show that they are the masters of people in Government and demand for good governance as of right. “People must discontinue the practice of taking several pages of advertisements in newspapers and airtime on electronic media to thank government functionaries who commission projects in their areas; for what politicians promised to do while campaigning for votes; and for duties they are paid to do.”
Indeed, this publication could not have come at a better time than now, when the whole world is united about the need for good governance, and combatting terror; issues that have and nations have continued to tighten their immigration policies, and when the federal government of Nigeria is introducing a new border control and immigration system to ease operations at the nation’s border posts, coupled with the introduction of a multi bio-metric system that is capable of generating a database of travelers and users of the ports. This book is “A Must Read” for all who wish to be guided on how to have smooth passages at border posts in Nigeria and abroad, attaining the objective of doing business with ease in Nigeria, and for Nigerians to conduct themselves in an orderly manner while on visits abroad.
Ambassador Joe C. Keshi, OON