Prof. Chris Ekong, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has asked the state government to explain the whereabouts of the Mexican cows captured in the 2017 budget.
Ekong, who is also the Chairman, Akwa Ibom state chapter of the Nigerian Economic Society, described as worrisome Governor Udom Emmanuel’s silence on the Mexican cows with such huge budgetary provisions which are nowhere to be found.
The Professor stated this during his presentation at a Roundtable on the 2022 budget organised by the Nigerian Economic Society on Thursday.
He said, “In this state, I can remember, about four years ago, the state government has budgeted huge amounts of money to buy Mexican cows, and no explanation has been made about these cows. They said they bought it, they were pregnant. Where are the Mexican cows? What has really happened? The government needs to explain this.”
He also described the state government’s huge investment in agriculture in the area of improved inputs, credit support to farmers in the last five years as mere rhetorics.
The professor lamented that notwithstanding the huge expenditure on agriculture in the last five years, prices of food items had remained flexible upward.
“Government must get involved more on Agriculture, rather than establishing pockets of peasant farmers while sharing agricultural credit to non-existent farmers.
“Some of them (farmers) went and showed my farm and collected money but non of them were farmers and nothing has been done and billions of naira were shared,” he said.
The varsity don also expressed concern over the budget’s absence of clean energy which he said, is one of the concerns of the just concluded Glasgow Climate Conference, COP 26, adding that with the current high prices of gas and kerosene many families have returned to degrading forest resources for cooking.
Efforts to speak with the Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, were not successful as calls and messages sent to her telephone were unanswered.