Chiangi Avese, Makurdi
Benue state government has concluded arrangements for the procurement, distribution and redemption of fertilizer and funds owned to vendors in a calculated move to facilitate and enhance food production this farming season.
This was made known by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Helen Atom during an interactive session with major stakeholders in the agricultural sub-sector on Wednesday in Makurdi.
Mrs. Atom said that “the current Treasury Single Account (TSA) operating in the state is not favourably disposed to the management and release of funds to vendors due to its bureaucratic bottlenecks.
“The operation will be easier and more transparent with a better security architecture which would involve the police, the EFCC and ICPC to complement the monitoring process that would adhere to compliance by critical actors.”
She stressed that the government is working out modalities for easy access of the products by farmers.
Mrs. Atom called on vendors to synergies with organised farmers under the auspices of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Benue state chapter to ensure that strict monitoring, distribution and redemption of funds is carried out to secure the products.
She advised the farmers to commence payment immediately to enable them access the products within a reasonable period.
Chairman of the state chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Aondungu Saaku reiterated his organisation’s determination to work with the government to realize the set goals.
He said that “AFAN would be actively involved in monitoring fertilizer distribution and sale down to the ward level of the local governments. This will be to ensure that known leakages are closed. I wish to also call on the government to beef up security during the exercise to protect the people and the distribution process.”