Government warns fertilizer racketeers, details operatives to arrest culprits

* Releases dedicated telephone numbers for intelligence sharing

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

The Kaduna State Government has put measures in place to check any act of diversion of fertilisers, which will be re-sold above the official price of N5,000 per bag.

Hajiya Halima Lawal, Kaduna State Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, who in a press statement assured the stakeholders of this, lamented that despite these measures, there are reports of some individuals buying up fertilizers by proxy, according to Daily Trust.

Hajiya Lawal stated: “These middlemen, through their agents, buy up as many bags of fertilizers as possible with the intention of reselling above the official price of N5,000.

She warned that security operatives are on the lookout for such suspicious moves and culprits will face the full wrath of the law.

The ministry has been “making radio and television announcements, advising residents to report all suspicious cases of diversions or any illicit activities.”

The Commissioner for Agriculture promised that “whistle-blowers should remain assured of their anonymity while reporting to these dedicated telephone numbers: 08030453360, 08029133240.’’

The Ministry of Agriculture warned the perpetrators to desist from such unpatriotic acts that pose a threat to food security and the nation’s economy, she stated.

According to the statement, security agencies have been sensitised to respect the essential services status granted to farmers and workers in the agriculture value chain.

While commending farmers for working tirelessly to ensure food availability amidst the lock-down, the statement noted that they should feel free to access their farms and continue food productions for this farming season.

It further encouraged farmers to use the stability of rains in the last three weeks for land preparation and other farming activities for the 2020 cropping season.

The “Ministry, with the support of partners, has deployed fertilizers and other inputs to all the 23 Local Government Areas in the state.

“Similarly, companies that sell improved seedlings and other farm inputs have been encouraged to set up shop at the various fertilizer sales points, enabling farmers to purchase all required inputs in one-stop shops across the Local Governments’ Areas for time and cost effectiveness,’’ added Hajiya Lawal.

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