You may recall that John had been told by the Government that he could purchase this subsidised vehicle, which would transform the lives of the community, if he could contribute 40 per cent of the cost.
He duly put down a deposit on that amount - having been assured he could pay off the balance in instalments - and officials have been holding on to that money for more than two years.
John was delighted to hear some days ago that the tractor was at last available. However, he was less happy to learn that the goalposts had moved significantly. Instead of simply parting with the tractor, the Government are now insisting that he pays the entire balance of his 40 per cent contribution immediately, meaning he must find £7,000 by June 4 to ensure delivery.
As usual, it is those in greatest need who would suffer the most if this amount was not forthcoming. Especially as the rains have now come to Nigeria, making this the ideal time to start work in the fields with a tractor.
Most galling of all is that, if John cannot buy this tractor, it potentially opens the way for a greedy profiteer to buy the machine at the subsidised price, then re-sell it on the open market at its full commercial value - benefiting himself, but depriving a needy community in the process.
The photo above shows the Attachab Farm and was taken by VSO volunteer Cicely you can see and read more in Cicely's blog.