A cartel suspected to include politicians, civil servants and agro-allied merchants has hijacked subsidized fertilizer distribution exercise in Niger State, the Chief Press Secretary to Niger State governor, Ibrahim Dooba, has said.
Mr. Dooba said the state recorded success in the fertilizer distribution in some local government areas of the state, while in others, the government is facing some hitches.
“While fertilizer distribution is proceeding as planned in many of the local government areas of the state, the attention of Niger State government has been drawn to activities of some individuals who derail the project by asking for more bags or refusing to cooperate in delivering the bags to the targeted farmers,” he said.
While urging people to be watchful and report the sinister activity to authorities, the governor’s spokesman warned that the saboteurs would face the wrath of the law.
“Anyone caught engaging in this unwholesome activity regarding the fertilizer distribution, whether he is a politician, a civil servant or an agro-dealer, would face the consequences of their action. Niger people are also requested to report such people to the government promptly.
“It is important to remind our people that the price per bag remains N2850, which is a 50% subsidy of what the farmers would have ordinarily paid. And the quantity allowed per farmer is a set of two bags. In other words, Niger State government is giving the farmer two bags for the price of one. The distribution points are the farm centres in the respective local government areas, where the farmers in each ward take turns to collect their fertilizer.
“In these difficult times, it is the intention of the government to make life as easy as possible for Niger people. It is what keeps Governor Abubakar Sani Bello awake at night. We therefore call on the people to assist the governor on this task. While the President has declared zero tolerance for corruption, Governor Bello has also declared many times that he would follow that example,” Mr. Dooba said.