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FG to Spend N60 Billion on 10 Million Mobile Phones for Farmers



Just three days into the new year, the Federal Government of Nigeria has mentioned its plan to spend yet another outrageous sum of money, this time on mobile phones.

According to Ibukun Odusote, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Government is to procure 10 million telephone handsets worth about N60 billion from China and the US for free distribution to rural farmers across the country.

This means that the federal government would spend a minimum of N6, 000 per unit which it said would be made available to the beneficiary- farmers before the end of March.

Odusote said that the plan was part of the e-Wallet project under which the ministry officials would be able to educate, inform and communicate with the farmers in the rural areas across the country on the latest and best agricultural practices, as well as the current prices of commodities in the market. She said the beneficiaries would be “women and youths” in rural areas.

We are talking about 10 million handsets, each handset would be costing, may be N6000 or N4000 because it is in large number. We are not going to buy in pieces like that. We will buy directly from the manufacturing companies. We have agreement with some organisations in China and some in the United States, they are going to provide all these handsets for us because they are also interested in investing in the Agricultural sector in Nigeria. So you have the idea and estimate of the cost” she said.

She said this is part of the incentives and the enabling environment being created by government at the centre to encourage women and young ones; particularly the graduates, to go into farming and agric-business.

This move has however been criticized by most Nigerians as many argue that N60 billion is too large to be spent on acquiring mobile phones. Also, some argue that there are more important things that farmers need such as fertilizers and soft loans rather than mobile phones.

What are your thoughts on this?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. faith

    January 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Nonsense…..waste of money….useless govt ….

  2. Toyosi

    January 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I think it’s laudable. Communication is important. It may not be the most important thing the farmers need now but it’ll come in useful.

    • x factor

      January 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      huh! ….laudable????? for real?????……..I cant believe i just heard that

    • Tracey

      January 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Exactly! Like seriously who at this age and time does not own a mobile phone however cheapt?? Every farmer already owns a mobile phone! including those in the village. What they require from the government as someone already mentioned are soft loans, fertilizers (very important) and improved farming tools. I’m sorry but this Government is seriously losing focus! What a shame really

  3. bunmi

    January 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Hmmm misplaced priorities as far as am concern, why can’t the money be used on farm machineries that would aid food cultivation and storage.

  4. Timiebi

    January 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    It’s just ridiculous how misplaced GEJ ‘s priorities are! Mobile phones now trump fertilisers, crops, subsidised lands, irrigation projects, animal vaccination, housing projects!
    I weep for my country!

  5. Igoche

    January 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Oh my great country… Sometimes I wonder who the advisers to the FG are. 60 billion Naira? This is waste at it’s peak. Can this amount not be channelled to local manufacturing of phones? Why must this large sum be used to import ? Use this money to support local manufacturers. I totally disagree with this kind of gross wastage…. …..


    January 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    craziness such a waste arghhhhh

  7. Nma

    January 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    What’s the guarantee that the 10 million farmers will use the phones for commercial purposes. 60% probably have phones already. Definitely another excuse to embezzle

  8. Soum

    January 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Pls remind me again hw mobile phones would help farmers.Instead of giving loans they are buying phones.GEJ pls this is a new year….

  9. the canadian

    January 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    #misplaced priorities

  10. Debbie

    January 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Our leaders have gone mad again. Oo , is thay the next thing of wat has the distribution of mobile fones got to do with the improvement of agriculture. Is a mobile fone a machinery??

  11. Glam

    January 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Has a mobile phone become part of the tools of a farmer? GEJ should tackle the populace’ needs rather than wants. Very unnecessary expenditure!

  12. Lanre

    January 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Its obvious to some of us that the Nigerian government is only interested in scams coated as schemes that are designed to move money out of the treasury for the benefit of very few people. It is only an ignorant person that will agree that a mobile phone will add value to a farmer in the rural area where there will not even be electricity to charge the phone. Imagine how much value will be added to agriculture if the money is directed towards fertilizer procurement.

  13. Ajoke

    January 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    stupidest thing ever

    • Maxi woman

      January 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm


  14. Otunba

    January 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    If this is the true the permanent secretary should be fired. Haba, this is absolute nonsense. Do we have up to 10 million farmers (adults) in Nigeria?, Is the government going to be buying airtime for them? Is it telephone that is the problem of the Nigerian Farmer?. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo upset. Is it that our leaders are so drunk that they dont knpw what to do? cheiiiiiiiiii

  15. Otunba

    January 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    If this is the truth, the permanent secretary should be fired. Haba, this is absolute nonsense. Do we have up to 10 million farmers (adults) in Nigeria?, Is the government going to be buying airtime for them? Is it telephone that is the problem of the Nigerian Farmer?. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo upset. Is it that our leaders are so drunk that they dont knpw what to do? cheiiiiiiiiii

  16. luqman

    January 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I’m really sorry for the future of the most populous black nation.
    Oun to n tan lodun egun!!!!!!

  17. Joan

    January 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I knew GEJ would come up with something else this new year, it just took a different dimension smh. Nigeria we hail thee!

  18. MissBrown

    January 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Talk about misplaced priorities

  19. Gbemmy

    January 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Innovative technology .. Let me give a brief description of what this is about , As a farmer with GEJ handset .. You can call the cassava, cocoa ,yam or whatever is planted on your farm and they ( cassava,yam etc) would give a detailed response about their welfare, if its raining or sunny ,if they have eaten ,or anyone has come to visit them , the farmer gets alerts when it’s harvest time …. Great technology from the stables of GEJ

  20. mfon

    January 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    N60Billion wow that’s a lot but $3.6million now that doesn’t sound that bad. if it truly works out as this article denotes ie it allows subsidies to be applied to local farmers directly, then it’s a great idea. More and more, I’m starting to think the Nigerian government may not have all around bad policies and perhaps just does a horrible job of explaining the policies.

  21. ay

    January 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    How do they know d numbas of farmers? Stealin of d highest level. Lets confront dem.

  22. konnie

    January 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    How does this help the farmers?

  23. ajikegold

    January 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    …my mouth is still wide open…

  24. ay

    January 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Government ave come wit there magic again. If we ave up 2 10 million farmers, how come there is no food?? Questions must b asked & actions taken.

    • nigerian farmer

      January 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Whoever came ul with this idea and the govt that is trying to implement it must have heads examined at Aro psychriatic hospital. This is a case of another chop for the boys. Pls tell me if mobile phones gave us the groundnut pyramids, cocoa, coffee, cotton exports of the 60s & 70s. These rouques have run out of ideas on how to legitimately defraud our commonwealth in Nigeria. Nigerians need to say NO to this. Jonathan needs to empire Nigerians not China or Chinese people. We don’t need those craps, we need jobs, infrastructure, & security not phones.YEYE PEOPLE.

  25. HABBA

    January 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    how about they give them N60 billion to educate their children, buy new tractors, get electricity, get adequate irrigation system, Teach them the latest methods of FARMING, this just seems like a CONTRACT BETWEEN CHINA and A NIGERIAN POLITICIAN that wants to CHOP MONEY!

  26. Tammy

    January 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    When mobile phone become priority to farm? Na wetin we send dem be dis? BH dey blast people to kingdom come n Jona say na fone be problem? I no wan swear dis new year but devil go baptize all of dem one by one. Arrant nonsense!

  27. Winny

    January 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Once again this administration proves that it is completely oblivious to the needs of the people. N60B on mobile phones for farmers, how would they charge the batteries i am assuming with their veins since they are no lights in the rural areas. One would have thought it sensible to give them soft loan and subsidized fertilizers. Corrupt policies for embezzlement.Useless armed robbers

  28. Mike

    January 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm


  29. Temitope Adewoye

    January 4, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Really? misplaced priorities really, I know kenya is doing something similar but 6billion? We know dy want to loot simple.Guide our leaders right lord.

  30. Flo

    January 4, 2013 at 1:07 am

    More ways to steal money… We have a bunch of illiterates for leaders… It is soooo sadddddd!!!!!!!!!

  31. nancy

    January 4, 2013 at 2:58 am

    What has our gonerment becoming . so do u mean we don’t vr any human being in there? only animals? why ? am ashm of this country .why not give each farmer 1milion each if u really want to help them or u animals don’t even think any more

  32. ofilispeaks

    January 4, 2013 at 3:39 am

    so 7% of Nigerians are farmers…righttttt….

  33. OB

    January 4, 2013 at 4:56 am

    No light FG is giving out mobile phones.. smh! How will they charge the phones??! This is so silly, its embarrassing

  34. pynk

    January 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

    do they even know the population count talkless of farmer demographics?

  35. splendid............iyke

    January 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Come!!! Come!!! Did u say #60b hmm…..if we hav 10 million peopl as farmers. Then y is peopl diein of hunger every n food stuffs r gettin so xpensiv by d day come!! Ooo!! Is phone 1 of d farm implement… can u buy a car 4 somebody who has no account talkless of havin money inside who is not even sure of his feedin money each dAy instead of U establishin him financially where. Will get money 2 fuel n maintain d car is dis not punishment my peopl…..dis is just a replica of what dey r tellin us here ……..even peopl who r handy finds it difficult 2 recharg nowa days talkless of rural farmers………y not use dat money an upgrade them …….so dat agriculture boom up n peopl will stop diein of hunger…………n #60b is enough 2 establish firms 2 engage every where unemployed youths……..gej u r too advance 4 dis …..abeg format system n ur advicers on agric n xpenditure need a brain format…….too funny 2 b real……

  36. ghsxjsg

    May 31, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Great article. Keep it up.

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