Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 6 March 2017 | 1,715 times
Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Departments, Senator Shehu Sani, has said that 80 percent of loans collected by state governments in Nigeria were either shared among politicians and their cronies or dispensed as largesse.
Senator Sani, who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial District disclosed on Sunday in Kaduna, while reacting to multiple complaints against late distribution of fertilizer by Amalgamated Ancoh Farmers Forum.
Sani revealed that Nigeria’s debt profile has therefore risen to as high as 60 percent from 10.4 as a result of this development, adding that what would have been given to farmers to improve yields were misused.
“Over the years, Nigerian government announced billions and trillions of naira as budget for agriculture, some even prioritise agriculture in their speeches but nothing comes out of it.
“Funds to be used to improve or better the farming profession for the farmers were diverted to things other than farming.
“Most times you see the government leaving behind legacy of high debt profile but nothing to show for it. This debt must be paid by government of today or tomorrow generation and that is a very big problem,” he said.
Sani said rather than show interest, Nigerians often times reject government’s request for loans on agriculture and other amenities.
He lamented that while the small scale/peasant farmers who invest genuinely in agriculture were working to feed the 170 million – 200 millions, they were denied loans and fertilizer, “while political brief case farmers were having their ways, accessing loans from agricultural development bank, insurance scheme banks, international community and local sources of funds for their activities.
“The political brief case farmers' farms are in the theatre of act of political meetings, they have everything they need to have improved themselves as farmers.
“The politics of fertilizer problem have not been worse than what is happening now. Nigerian farmers are supposed to have fertilizer at the rate of N3, 000.
“If all the money that have been saved from removal of oil subsidy are channelled towards farming, prices of fertilizer and foods stuff would not have gone skyrocketing as it is now.
“We have to tell ourselves, the country and our government the truth. People are suffering. Diversification of the economy is not about pumping money to rice farming alone,” Sani said.
Haruna Gambo, chairman of the farmers forum, earlier complained of late distribution of fertilizer to members, poor loans facilities, police detention threat by banks to members to pay back with yields even with low input and output, among others.
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