While peasant farmers struggle to afford fertilizer from commercial dealers owing to hikes in the prices of the commodity, two officials of Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources have allegedly diverted about nine trucks loaded with the fertilizer.
Police have arrested two officials of the ministry, the Storekeeper and Accountant in connection to the crime.
However, WikkiTimes’ independent analysis of the cost shows that each truck goes for N11,333,333. A truck contains about 600 bags of fertilizer. Summatively, the officials accused of the diversion cornered 5,400 bags at the cost of over N101,999,997.
In May this year, Governor Abdullahi Sule of the state, said already, about 1,035 tones of NPK have been procured for this year’s farming season, adding that each bag goes for N17,000 at purchasing point but it has been subsidised for farmers at the rate of N10,000 per bag.
Mr Nuhu Ibrahim Oshafu, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natual Resources in the state said 21 trucks of fertilizer were procured for distribution to farmers at a subsidised rate for this year’s farming season at the cost of N238,000,000.
Mr Oshafu said at the time he assumed office, he inherited only 12 trucks of fertilizer meant for distribution to farms in the 13 local government areas of the state at a subsidised rate.
Reports indicate that all of a sudden, the nine trucks disappeared from the store without any explanation as to the whereabouts of the trucks from the Storekeeper and Accountant of the ministry who are already on police net.
Hon Emanuel Allahnan, House Committee Chairman on Agriculture demanded the prosecution of the accused if found guilty to deter others from following in their footsteps in the future.
He said Nasarawa State House of Assembly will enact a relevant legal framework to ensure that corrupt minds within the corridors of public service did not find fertile ground for covering state resources at the expense of public interest.