Nigerians Express Concern Over Agric Deal Buhari Sealed With USA
Of the many points hit on in the discussions between American President Donald Trump and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, the one with the least amount of coverage but with the greatest potential for impact was in regards the Agricultural sector.
The Buhari regime have made no secret of their drive towards increasing the Agricultural potential of Nigeria which is in a bid to diversify an economy which is heavily reliant on oil and this has been good news as many young Nigerians are now looking to Agriculture as a viable business in Nigeria.
Donald Trump, however, has said that he hopes that Nigeria would be willing to open her borders to allow American exports of food and the likes to Nigeria which would of course be counter-productive to the drive to build the economic sector and there are fears that a deal might already have been struck between both parties doing just that.
These fears may indeed be valid as if there’s anything one could pick from Buhari’s visit to the White House, it is that he was on a mission to stay on Trump’s good side and basically accept whatever was given. This was made evident when the issue of Trump’s infamous ‘Shithole countries’ comment was raised to which Buhari’s answer was viewed by many as weak. He said;
“I’m not sure about, you know, the validity of whether that allegation against the president is true or not.
“So the best thing for me is to keep quiet.”
According to Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, the deal between Nigeria and the United States as regards Agriculture is actually a win as he claimed that what Trump promised was to send American farmers en-masse to Nigeria to help Nigeria boost her Agricultural sector.
Speaking to journalists on this point, he said; “He kept saying that he will get farmers to come to Nigeria en masse and assist us and that they as government will subside them heavily so that they can come to Nigeria to assist us in our agriculture sector drive.”
He then added; “But the one that I think Nigerians will be happy about is in the area of agriculture. They have now zeroed in on that aspect. Yes, the oil is there, they too realised that before we get it right we need to diversify our economy and President Trump has actually given his commitment that they will now zero in in the area of agriculture and they will see his they can help us.
“So if you look at the totality of why we are here, I think we have even achieved what we bargained for. Generally in all these three areas, he promised to help us particularly in fighting terrorism in Nigeria in security challenges that we have. They are assisting us in the area of the economy and of course in the area of fighting corruption, they are going to assist us as well. So all in all, they are supporting us.”
But Nigerians fear that not only will an influx of American farmers and food harm Nigerians looking to work in the Agricultural sector and business owners and farmers hoping to sell their produce on the market, but that it could pose a potential health risk to Nigerians.
It is no secret that American farmers are partial to genetically modified crops (or GM crops) which are basically crops grown in labs. If American food comes into Nigeria, it’s only natural that there would be more GM products in the Nigerian market. The potential health risks of these are astounding.
According to a report in the Guardian, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) warned that the intake of GMO foods are inherently unsafe and have asked all doctors to advise their patients to avoid GM foods.
Some of the health risks include; Cancer, Liver Toxicity and Infertility.
The alleged deal between Nigeria and the United States is a good one, but only if you’re the United States as Nigerians inisist that there is nothing in the deal that inherently favours Nigerians.