Buhari Pledges To Defray N38b Debt Owed Agro-Dealers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Pledges To Defray N38b Debt Owed Agro-Dealers

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 at 12:43 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor Emejor,  Abuja


President Muhammadu Buhari has assured agro-dealers being owed N38 billion by the Federal Government that they would be paid as soon as the verification of their supplies was concluded by the relevant authorities.

National Chairman, Agro-Dealers Association of Nigeria, Shuaibu Bello, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, explained that the President was carrying out thorough verification of all their supplies before payment to ensure transparency in the entire process.

Bello explained that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has been owing agro-dealers, who supplied farm inputs during the 2014 wet season farming, billions of naira.

Bello lamented that the delay in the payment of their money after they had supplied fertilizer and improved seeds to farmers across the country under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) has plunged many of their members into financial mess, as commercial banks have refused to lend money to them.

He further disclosed that President Buhari would also flag-off the distribution of farm inputs for 2015 farming season as soon as agro-dealers are paid and other bottlenecks removed.

He noted that through the involvement of the agro-dealers in the distribution of farm input, government has succeeded in providing these inputs to so many farmers at subsidized rate across the country, which has never happened in the history of the country.

Bello, however, advised government officials to desist from meddling in the distribution of farm inputs under the GES, adding that it was designed to be private sector driven.

He also added that the GES was floated by the Federal Government to promote transparency and accountability in the distribution of farm inputs which hitherto was riddled with graft and corruption.

It would be recalled that prior to the introduction of GES by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, it was on record that only 11 per cent of Nigerian farmers were able to access fertilizer and seeds at subsidized rate, in spite of the whooping sum of money allocated as subsidy in the agricultural sector.