Where is our heritage?

April 23, 2020

Many scholars have argued that Africans are their own problems. Maybe they are wrong in some aspect, but the question is where is our heritage? The attractive uniqueness which people saw in us as the beautiful market then, where did we keep it?

The world’s social economy today had its roots in Africa, because Africa contributed a larger potion to today’s world economy. Many nations that were behind Africans then are now ahead just because we neglected what we know best to do.

Nigeria as the giant of Africa, which has drawn the most attention to Africa in the global economy, has many strengths in many areas of life, economy, population, sports, education, military, agriculture, culture etc. The question now is: Is Nigeria still a giant?

Nigeria’s glory is in the past rather than present, because the glory of the past is more reasonable and richer in quality and quantity than what we are experiencing.

Before the discovery of petroleum in Nigeria which now serves as the one major source of economy booster, many regions and states were known for something unique and specific in which the citizens enjoyed life because we were not ashamed of being ourselves then.

Agriculture in Nigeria was a major source of income for the nation. The country earned a lot of money through exportation; everyone that engaged in it then made a better life for themselves and invested for the future.

The northern part of the country is good in farming, due to the nature of their weather and type of soil. The types of crops they can plant vary and production was massive. The major crops grown in the region were millet, rice, sorghum and cowpea while groundnut and sesame were significant minor crops.

Nigeria was the world’s largest exporter of groundnut in 1970s; the northerners were globally known for their groundnut pyramids. The Eastern part of Nigeria was known for palm oil and palm kernel. History has it that oil factories had been in Calabar since the1800s. They had the capacity of producing for the people in the state and for export, which contributed to the Nigerian economy.

The western part of Nigeria was known to be lovers of farming. The ideology they espouse is that one is a lazy man if that person can’t engage in farming activities. That’s the reason educated people among them engage in subsistence farming. Cocoa has been what Yoruba makes money from. Many Yoruba leaders today were sponsored in school here in Nigeria and overseas from proceeds of farming. Then, many people were independent with  less pressure on the government because they could still provide what they would eat.

The incessant growth of the world population, which Nigeria is not excluded from, necessitates an increase in agricultural activities to meet the food demand from a growing human population. This demand should put more pressure on agriculture in Nigeria. The people and the government should give importance to it because every nation needs food to survive.

Agricultural sector in Nigeria is not impressive today. Oil discovery in Nigeria shifted our attention from agriculture to a quick source of revenue. It is time the government realized that agriculture is a ministry which more attention should be given to because inability to invest in agriculture will tell on us now after this pandemic.

Oluwaseun Felix Ajayi


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