No doubt, the civil service is a veritable tool for the implementation of government programmes and policies. The civil servants are one of the very low paid employees in the workforce in the country especially with the dwindling economic fortune.
This is more so at a time when the purchasing power of the naira is non-the less low.
The civil servants knowing full well that his pay package is not enough to take him home needs an alternative source of income to augment his meagre resources in order to add value to his monthly stipends.
Agriculture has been identified as the answer because of its multiple source of income in a diversified economy and the only business civil servants can venture into while in service.
The agricultural sector is an incentive for personal growth and developments. The government itself has seen the need to diversify its economic base and it has recognised agriculture as one of the key areas it needs to diversify the base of the economy.
Therefore, there is the urgent need for all civil servants to also replicate what the government has done by also keying into the area of diversification to improve on their personal income.
If agriculture is the mainstay of the economic of many countries in the world, then it can also lead to the economic stability and enhancement of the fortunes of many civil servants.
Boosting individuals economic fortune through personal entrepreneural involvements in agriculture should be the top priority of the civil servants.
The era when civil servants depend on their monthly stipends for their survival is gone. The agricultural sector which involves farming is the easiest enhancer of an individuals personal fortune in an ever competitive difficult economic environment.
The civil servant can also easily diversify into farming with members of their family by engaging in sustenance farming.
The civil servants are advised to be involved in subsistence agriculture because their involvement in commercial agriculture will have maximal impact on their primary responsibilities as civil servants.
We have various types of agriculture which lack of time and the day to day responsibilities of the civil servants on their primary assignments cannot allow them to venture into. The best option therefore is for civil servants to engage in small scale farming.
One of the main worries of the civil servants is the inability to feed the family because of the competing demands attached to the workers salaries.
Demands such as accommodation, feeding, transport, school fees for children and dependants among other demands call for a holistic overview for civil servants to engage in subsistence agriculture.
It is generally believe that once the issue of family feedings our are settled, then the strength of our salaries and allowances will be enhanced.
The government on its part must help the civil servants augment their income by deliberately providing the enabling environment for them to succeed in the area of subsistence agriculture.
The government should use the instrumentality of the Bank of Agriculture to give soft loans with low collateral requirements to enhance the smooth involvements of civil servants into Agriculture.
The government knows that the salaries and wages paid to its workforce are not adequate to cater for the needs of certain categories of staff, it is therefore expedient that government supports the efforts of civil servants by coming up with deliberate policies that will encourage the average civil servants enroll in farming activities.
By the involvement of civil servants in farming and other skill acquisition programmes meagre, their inclinations towards corrupt practices will be reduced drastically.
It will also boost the economy economy as food will be available to feed the citizens with reserved sold abroad to beef up the country’s revenue base.
The civil servants are one of the well informed sectors of the economy but the government should prioritise the provision of agricultural extention programmes for them to make them well equipped for new agricultural methodology and access to funding to boost their farming activities.
While calling for a deliberate policy to spur the growth of the agricultural involvements of civil servants, government at all levels are advised to intervene for the civil servants so as loans in agricultural accredited banks should be reduced to one single digit, preferably as low as 4-5 percent rate.
Dr. Jumai Ahmadu is a civil servant based in Abuja.