Kaduna dismantles fertilizer racket

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 30 April 2016 | 3,066 times

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Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday presented his 11 months stewardship to the people in Zone 3, the southern part of the state, during which he announced that the fertilizer racket in the state has been broken and the product will soon be made available to farmers across the state.

Addressing his audience at the 7th Town Hall meeting held in Kachia, El-Rufai noted that he spent less than one year in office attracting investments, plugging leakages and cutting costs.

He maintained that the present administration is not wired to create exclusive benefits for the politically powerful, adding that government would provide dividends of democracy to all.

The Governor told participants that, for the first time in the history of Kaduna, his administration presented the first quarter budget performance report to the state House of Assembly in a quest to ensure accountability and transparency in governance.

On security, El-Rufai said that implementation of the recommendations of the Gen. Luther Agwai Committee he set up to look into the insecurity in Southern Kaduna has reduced the intensity and frequency of killings and attacks in the zone.

Commenting on job creation, the Governor said apart from school feeding which created 17,000 jobs, the free school uniform programme has empowered 4,000 tailors. He stressed that his administration has a target to train 5,000 entrepreneurs in business skills and assist them to develop business plans that can be funded by the Bank of Industry (BOI).

El-Rufai said: “I shall this morning present an account of what your government has been doing. It is our political obligation to do this, and to listen to your comments, and discuss your concerns about the things we are doing or need to do.

“We have eliminated the fertilizer racket. Fertilizer is no longer an item of political patronage. It is a vital farming input. The rains are here now, and I am happy to announce that by next weekend farmers can walk into warehouses across the state to buy fertilizer at prices way below the market price.”

On infrastructure, the Governor disclosed that projects to construct 20,000 affordable homes have kicked off. He said the 2016 Budget gave the water resources sector N11.4 billion for projects such as Zaria water and dams across the state. El-Rufai added that rehabilitation works for some water projects like Birnin-Gwari dam have been advertised, while almost one billion naira was spent on the Zaria water project in the first quarter of the year.

“We designed the 2016 budget based on 60:40 expenditure profile for capital and recurrent. Capital spending in the first quarter amounts to an unprecedented N7bn, with N4.9bn going to the education sector for school renovation, furniture, and uniforms, and almost a billion naira as payments for the Zaria water project,” Governor El-Rufai said.

“Despite the sharp fall in revenues, we remain committed to protecting personnel costs and capital projects. To this end, the State Executive Council has approved a budget adjustment mechanism to help ensure that dwindling revenues do not hinder the capital budget,” he added.

•Photo shows Governor El-Rufai.

Source: News Express

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