Two officials arrested for diverting 9 trucks of fertilizer in Nasarawa
An accountant and store officer in the Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been apprehended for allegedly diverting nine trucks of fertilizer meant for distribution to farmers across the 13 local government areas of in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Nuhu Ibrahim-Oshafu, revealed this when management of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Nasarawa Agricultural Development Programme (NADP) appeared before the committee to defend their 2022 budget performances.
Ibrahim-Oshafu, while defending the performance of the ministry, informed the committee scrutinising his ministry that the state had purchased and distributed 21 trucks of fertilizers at the sum of N238 million in the state.
According to him, when he assumed office, 12 and half trucks of fertilizers were handed over to him, but when taking the stock of the products, 9 trucks of fertilizer disappeared in the store all of a sudden.
He said an accountant and store officer were arrested in connection with the missing fertilizer and are currently on suspension while investigation is ongoing to ascertain why they committed the act.
He, however, appreciated the committee for supporting its activities to succeed.
The Programme Manager of NADP, Mr Emmanuel Allahnana, who also appeared before the committee, decried shortage of extension workers, appealing for more employment so as to address agricultural challenges and boost food production across the state.
While assuring the committee of NADP’s readiness to initiate different policies and programmes that would boost food production in the state, he thanked the committee for the support the agency currently enjoys and called for its sustenance.
Reacting on the ugly situation, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, called on the state government to declare state of emergency in the agricultural sector, affirming that this would go along way in boosting food production and improve the standard of living of the people of the state.
The chairman of the committee, Mr. Ibrahim Peter-Akwe, warned the state Ministry of Agriculture against sharp practices in the sales/distribution of Fertilizer to farmers in the state.
He explained that the agricultural sector is very critical to the growth of the state, hence the need for more proactive steps by the government to address emerging changes facing the sector.
He said, “The state government has to declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector, if really we want to get it right in this sector.
“As the importance of agriculture to human ad societal development could not be overemphasized, agriculture provides food, generates employment and revenue among other benefits. Hence the need for all hands to be on deck in order to address the challenges facing the sector in the state,” he said.
He further called on the state government to employ more extension workers in order to boost food production in the state.
“It is really disturbing to hear that one extension worker is attached to 12,000 to 15,000 farmers in the state,” he added.
The chairman urged the ministry to ensure prudency in the distribution of fertilizer to farmers across the state in order to boost food production.
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