The Executive Director of National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM) Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Yomi Kasali has identified poorly trained tractors’ operators as reasons for short life span of many agricultural machinery in the country.
Kasali, represented by one of the directors of NCAM, Dr. Segun Ademiluyi, at the training on Capacity Building of Tractors Operators and Maintenance of Equipment, in Ilorin, said, life span of tractors outside Nigeria is 50 years, lamenting that same tractors only last five years in Nigeria.
He spoke during the closing ceremony of over 100 tractors’ operators across Nigeria, trained by the NCAM. The event was jointly bankrolled by the institute and Tractors’ Owners and Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria (TOHFAN).
According to Kasali: “NCAM was established to train Nigerians in the use of manpower machinery, including tractors but ironically, as dangerous as tractors are, many operators of the equipment have no formal training in Nigeria.
“The imported tractors are not bad, but their operations and maintenance should be paramount. The same tractors that last for 50 years in other climes hardly last five years in Nigeria due to lack of trained operators.”
He expressed the competence of the personnel at the Institute to train Nigerian tractors’ operators just as he canvassed adequate inspection by the institution of agricultural equipment being imported into the country.
Kasali, while decrying the alleged abandonment of heaps of imported moribund tractors in the premises of many Nigerian parastatals, said the colossal waste could have been averted if NCAM had been engaged in the process leading to their purchase.
The event, simultaneously held with graduation of 30 trainees of Integrated Agricultural Entrepreneurship, was attended by many agric experts across Nigeria.
Kasali stated further: “One of our core mandates at this great institute is to inspect before use all the agric equipment imported into the country. Unfortunately, many end users of such machines; especially tractors don’t usually involve us. The results are many tractors that are being abandoned either due to lack of spare parts or expertise skills at repairing them. This attitude is not too good for our economic growth.”
He charged the graduands to step down the acquired skills to others in their localities, noting that such attitude would bolster the agric potential of Nigeria among the comity of nations.