Leadership is getting right person in to precise position ~Afoma Adigwe

Leadership is getting right person in to precise position ~Afoma Adigwe
Leadership is getting right person in to precise position ~Afoma Adigwe

Princess (Mrs.) Afoma Clara Adigwe, is the Global Ambassador for Royal Africa Common Wealth Global Entrepreneurs Club, a new organisation in Nigeria with headquarters in London.

Speaking in a recent interview with Ngozi Okpalakunne, Adigwe who is also the founder of Uplifting Women Through Farming, (UWTA) and Uplifting Youth Through Agriculture (UYOTA) talked about her new appointment as the global ambassador of the Club; how the new organisation would assist Small and Medium Scale businesses in the country as well as eradicate poverty that is currently ravaging the continent of Africa.

During the interview, Adigwe delved in to leadership in Nigeria and also appealed to Nigeria government to offer farmers in the country with the necessary infrastructures which in turn would reduce the high cost of local produce.

On the other hand, she called on government at all levels to ensure the security of the lives of the farmers, so they can go back to farm. Excerpts.

How does it feel to be the Global Ambassador for Royal Africa Common Wealth Global Entrepreneurs Club?

I think it is a good appointment that l have taken and l am going to deliver.

Before the appointment, founder and chairman of the Common Wealth Global Entrepreneurs Club, a Pakistani based in London, Mobin Rafiq told me to join in the setting up of the organisation during my visit to London in 2019, l wasn’t eager to join because of the two organisations l established, but after much persuasion, l told him that if l have to be part, it has to be streamlined to agriculture and the royal father because l like to concentrate on doing what l like to do best.

Just like l tell everyone, agriculture and royalty normally goes together especially the royal fathers. This is because they have the direct link with the community especially the youths. It is a networking platform to trade and collaborate globally. It consists of politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, industrialists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and other business influencers.

Also, it aimed to appeal to the growing interest in developing entrepreneurship at the grass root level.

As the global ambassador of the Club, l will work closely with the founder of the organisation.

He will get investors to partner with the Royal Fathers in different projects to be able to upgrade the lives of their community members particularly women and the youths.

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It is interesting to note that the organisation is setting up a branch office in Abuja, which I will be operating at my own time and that will also give me time to manage my other two organisations that focused on developing women and the youths through agriculture in Nigeria and Africa.

Most of the investors in the country are leaving due to the nation’s dwindling economy. How can this organisation successfully get investors to invest in Nigeria?

Nigeria is a place to be, but the problem we have is leadership and continuity, there is no investors that will not like to take the risk of coming to invest in Nigeria.

They know that if they come to Nigeria they will definitely make it.

Talking about declining economy, it is a global thing, the pandemic lowered everything, a lot of investors relocated and some reduced their staff strength.

So, we should forget about some of these negative thoughts, a lot of investors want to come, but the problem like l said has to do with the leadership.

l prefer to move with the royal fathers because they do not have tenure unlike the politicians when they leave the office, there will not be continuity and that is what we lack.

It will be like a legacy, the royal fathers will leave it behind for their children, children and it continues like that.

You said the problem of Nigeria is leadership. What do you think is the solution?

That will be resolved when we have a good leadership and that is why this time around I have taken it upon me to be partially involved in what is going on in the political arena, before l have always work behind the seen, l have never been involved or outspoken when it comes to politics.

l run two NGOs, my women and youths are in different parties, l do not want to take any side, but this time l have said to my youths in particular that I am going to show them the way and l will tell them what to do.

Recently, we had a programme where some UYOTA members interviewed political candidates , especially in the areas of agriculture, to see what they have for them; to understand what structure they have for the youths in agriculture, so that when they are voted in, the youth will hold them accountable for what they said, they are going to be reminding them, because the problem is leadership and at times, you trust some of these politicians and will vote for them, when they get there, they become different persons because they work as a team where human beings with different characters form the team and probably influence their decisions.

So, leadership is getting the right person in to the right place, because some of the politicians are voted in to wrong positions and it becomes difficult for them to perform well.

If the right people are voted in to the right positions, we will have good leadership and things will work well in this country.

The cost of local produces such as rice is almost the same with that of imported. What do you think is responsible and what is the way forward?

l have been on advocacy of agriculture especially at the grass root, which is my focus and l am not really in support of loans .

At times these funds goes to the wrong hands, we call them the political farmers, the main farmers hardly go to the banks, even if they are given loans, most of the loans goes to infrastructures, that is the reason, the first micro finance bank l wanted to set up, l named it Farm Get Micro Finance Bank, that is where one recognises the needs of the farmers, detects the loans they need, finds out the structure they require and give them the loan because when they produce food products such as rice, transportation and logistics involved cost much and eventually it will be added to the prize of such commodity thereby making it expensive.

Leadership is getting right person in to precise position ~Afoma Adigwe
Leadership is getting right person in to precise position ~Afoma Adigwe

Now Uplifting Women Through Farming, is planning to set up African Women Agricultural bank, we know the pains of women farmers and it is going to be an umbrella to uplift the burden of a lot of women who are in to farming.

The way out of the high cost of local produces is for the government to put logistics in place. The major problem is the movement of goods, because as they are moving the goods, they are settling the police and the customs and these are poor farmers, yet they are heavily tasked even at market places, so there are many factors that contribute to high cost of local produces.

Also the issue of insecurity in the country is another problem, farmers are afraid to go to farm because their lives are not secured.

The government should do more to ensure that the lives of the farmers are secured so they all can go back to farm.

On the hand, government can involve farmers to ensure there is security in their communities.

If it is possible, government should employ farmers secretly to be part of intelligent report for them, so that they can work as a team, not just leaving it in the hands of the security men alone.

So, it is high time the farmers are well respected, guided and well informed and if possible go for training on security matters.

The 2023 general election is at the corner. What are your views?

By the grace of God l know it is going to be a peaceful election. My organisation , Uplifting Youth Through Agriculture ( UYOTA) is partnering with a sister organisation, Citizen’s Right and Leadership Awareness Initiative to monitor the election.

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