From Abubakar Imam, Sokoto
Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto yesterday made a shocking revelation that the 200 trucks of fertilizers said to have been released to the state were only distributed to politicians and their associates, leaving real farmers still cold.
According to the Governor, he was not aware of the delivery and that he was hearing it for the first time.
The Governor was responding to his Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Muhammadu Jabbi Kilgori at yesterday’s fertilizers and rice seeds distribution for dry season farmers, as the federal government kick started its Rice Paddy Production at Wamakko.
He said the state received 200 trucks of fertilizers from the federal government during the last season.
He however advised that, “we should all fear God by ensuring that only the right people benefited from the scheme.
He maintained his stand on the e-wallet fertilizer distribution programme of the federal government, saying it would not work as our farmers are not educated.
“I advised you to rethink and reconsider the programme because you can’t compare our farmers with that of civilized countries. But our advice was not considered and that is why only politicians and their people are benefiting while the real farmers are left with nothing”, he said.
“You know we have smart people who can sabotage policy of government for their selfish interest,” he warned.
Wamakko also appealed to federal government to listen to advice when it comes to the implementation of its key policies that ought to have a direct bearing on the common men.
On the 2015 rice sufficient target, the Governor said that it was feasible only if there was a sincere commitment by the government.
“We always pay lip service to farming activities in the country. The federal government intervention is not much and becasue of this farming is left to local people alone who can only feed themselves. This is the bitter truth but we must say it for the development of our country,” he added.
The Governor advised traditional ruler and other stakeholders should be involved in the scheme for the actual farmers to be identified for them to benefit from the programme.
He said that now that he was involved he would direct all his commissioners and Special Advisers to get back to their villages and ensure only farmers alone benefit from the fertilizers and the seeds.
The programme, he said, was genuine, progressive and capable of taking the country to the promise land in food suffuciency, adding that, his government would continue to support federal government and private individuals with genuine interest of developing agricultural sector.
Earlier, the Minister of state for Agriculture, said 10 states were selected for the programme with 232,600 hectares for rice paddy production.
According to him, in Sokoto alone there was 41,300 hectres and 6000 farmers would benefit from the scheme.
He added that there were 13 completed Rice Mills across the country who required 250,000 metric tones of rice.
From Abubakar Imam, Sokoto