Sokoto State Government says it is currently investigating some fertiliser racketeers, who were reportedly arrested in Sabon-Birni Local Government area of the State.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Umaru Nagwari, made the disclosure at news briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). He said that those arrested were involved in the fertiliser fraud, as they were buying and reselling the 9,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser bought by the state government at over N 1.2 billion.
”The commodity was distributed to the 23 Local Governments of the state based on their respective farmers’ population. ”The state government also provided 70 per cent subsidy on each bag of the commodity including NPK, Urea and SSP.
”Unfortunately, while efforts were being made to ensure that the commodity gets to the real farmers, these bad eggs were busy buying it off, with a view to resell it to the farmers at exorbitant prices.” he said.
Nagwari also said that the state government was currently conducting a state-wide data-based census of farmers. This, according to him, was aimed at getting a central database of farmers, to ensure that only genuine farmers henceforth get farm inputs, loans and implements. (NAN)