Nigeria: Sokoto Farmers Fear Hijack of N7.5b Loan, Fertilizers

Some farmers in Sokoto state are worried that the N7.5 billion loan facility and fertilizers meant for farmers could be hijacked by politicians.

In separate interviews, the farmers advised that their leaders and traditional rulers should be involved in the disbursement of the loan and fertilizers.

Malam Umar Sani, a seasoned farmer and village head of Illela Babba in Wamakko Local Government Area of the state, said most of these interventions were not reaching the actual farmers.

"We have been hearing about interventions but none of them came to us," he said

He advised Governor Aminu Tambuwal to ensure traditional rulers were involved in the distribution of the commodity and the loan.

"They are the ones who know real farmers in their villages because politicians will only compensate their supporters most of whom are not active farmers."

The state chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Dr. Murtala Gagado, while adding to the farmers' position, said leaders of the farmers' association should be part of the committee that would disburse the money.

"This will ensure only farmers benefit and recovery of the loan will be easier," he said

On fertilizers, he advised the government to appoint people with proven integrity into committees that will distribute the commodity in all the 23 local government areas.

When contacted, the National President of the Onion Farmers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ali Isa, declined comment on the matter.

While flagging off the distribution of the N3.5 billion fertilizer for this year's rainy season on Saturday, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state, said his government had also secured N4bn loan for rice, wheat and tomato farmers, among others.

According to him, the fertilizers (NPK and Urea), would be sold at the subsidized rates of N4,000 and N5,250 against the market prices of N8,000 and N10,500 respectively.

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