By Lola SERIKI- IDAHOSA, Kaduna
Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, during the weekend flag –off the sales branded fertilizer products at 4,000 naira per bag to farmers in the state for the 2016 farming season, saying that Kaduna has succeeded in pulling out of waste and fraud of fertilizer subsidy.
The governor, who warned against diversion of the products for commercial purposes, said any one found sabotaging the scheme will be prosecuted accordingly.
El-Rufai while performing this year’s flag -off of fertilizer sales in Giwa local government area of the state, said his administration has pulled the state out of waste and fraud of fertilizer subsidy being practiced in the past.
It would be recalled that, in 2015,with 40% subsidy, NPK was sold at N3,750 and Urea for N3,600,which governor el-Rufai had promised to remove the subsidy, without subsidy fertiliser is selling for 4000 in 2016.
El-Rufai explained that, he stopped the past practice of allocating fertilizer to big men “whether they are the governor, commissioners or traditional rulers, politicians or senior government officials”
The governor after performing symbolic selling of the products at Giwa town, said:”Today, we are delighted to be back here to formally flag-off fertilizer sales for the 2016 farming season.
When we performed this ceremony in Kachia on 10th June 2015, we promised to improve on the system of making fertilizer available to our farmers.
“We stopped the past practice of allocating fertilizer to big men – whether they are the governor, commissioners or traditional rulers, politicians or senior government officials.
“We directed instead that fertilizer must be sold only at publicly-designated selling points to interested farmers. This was intended to ensure that every farmer in Kaduna, whether big or small, will have equal opportunity to buy at first-come, first-serve basis”, he said.
Announcing price of each bag of the products, El-Rufai said: “All the changes we effected last year could infused some order and egalitarianism, but only within a context already distorted by subsidy fraud.
This year we have gone further. We have pulled the Kaduna State Government out of the waste and fraud of fertilizer subsidy.
“We have put our influence and credibility to attract private providers of fertilizer and negotiated a fair price with them on behalf of our farmers. Without putting a kobo of government money, we have made it possible for a farmer to buy fertilizer from private supplies at N4000 per bag this farming season”, he stated.
“That is how government plays the role of enabler, giving the farmer access to a critical input, generating economic activity and saving the government money.
We intend going forward to even make this kind of fertilizer sales flag-offs obsolete.
“Fertilizer should be bought and sold all year round, with government ensuring that that the fertilizer meets quality standards. We have to routinise fertilizer availability, and our success in that will make ceremonies like this unnecessary”, he added.
He reiterated the commitment to agriculture as a matter of necessity.
He also announced that with thriving farms, big and small, Kaduna State will be reinforced as a major Centre for crop and livestock production and processing.
The governor also presided over a town hall meeting in Giwa for zone 1 senatorial district.
El-Rufai launches N4,000 Per Bag Kaduna branded fertilizer
By Lola SERIKI- IDAHOSA, Kaduna