AFAN President, Arc kabir Ibrahim.
By Barnabas Esiet.
Allegations that the Federal government of Nigeria is going to spend 13b to fight quelea birds, locusts and pests in the country is not going down well with the All Farmers Association of Nigeria( AFAN).
In a statement, National President of the Association, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, noted that such amount of money was not provided for in the 2020 budget and therefore cannot be appropriated by the National Assembly, NASS.
“For this kind of information to be churned out to the public is tantamount to gross indiscipline and gross misconduct by any public officer who perpetrated it, the public domain is awash with consternation as to the basis for this kind of talk by the driver of the Nigerian food system.” Ibrahim said.
According to the statement, the farmers are at a loss when this kind of information comes out especially when they are struggling to access their farms due to insecurity.
“The question we are asking is how the government came to the decision to expend this colossal sum to protect farm produce whose quantum is indeterminate because its cultivation has not even commenced and there is no veritable data to rely on in forecasting what it will actually amount to.’ The statement read.
AFAN noted that for any policy driver to have come up with such plan of expenditure, they are not in firm control of what is happening in the Agriculture space in the country or they are hell bent on defrauding the food system.
Ibrahim urged NASS to summon a stakeholder hearing to review this matter with a view to advising the government to reevaluate the performance of the drivers of Agriculture in Nigeria.
“While we applaud the efforts and concern of President Buhari on the promotion of Agriculture for food security and National development it will be unpatriotic to keep quiet in the face of this obtuse and reductive appraisal of an integral component of the National Food System.’ He noted
AFAN called on the government to urgently create a directorate to take charge of the processes for attainment of food security in Nigeria, on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, to avert food shortages that could lead to the collapse of the system.