Angry farmers and suppliers of agro products are blaming a presidential committee headed by Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, for farmers inability to access fertiliser in the north.
But, according to National Update, an online newspaper, Badaru has deflected the blame and said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Army Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, should be held liable.
Badaru accused Chief of Staff Gambari, of being the brain behind the scarcity and high-cost of fertiliser this farming season.
He was reacting to the call to President Muhammadu Buhari by farmers to disband the Presidential Committee on Fertiliser Initiative for failing to deliver on its mandate.
This came after the Farmers Association and Northwest Inputs Agro Dealers Association of Nigeria (NIADAN) raised an alarm over non-availability of the commodity that is produced in the country and shipped abroad while local farmers are deprived.
The Governor said, “I am not aware of what is happening now in the committee as I was not called for its meeting or participate in any of its operation in the last two years.”
Governor Badaru exonorated himself from the failure of the committee insisting that, when he was active in the committee, the success achieved was unprecedented and every farmer in Nigerian witnessed it.
The chairman said no letter of disengagement was given to him, and maintained that only the Chief of Staff to the President Professor Ibrahim Gambari can give account and answer any question related to the committee’s activities in the last two years.
The farmers’ associations had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Committee as it had failed to deliver on its mandate of making the commodity available and affordable to the country’s farmers.
They also called on the President to order a thorough investigation of the alleged malpractices in the operations of the committee that allowed the fertilizer blending factories to export the commodity to foreign countries to the detriment of the citizens after the federal government subsidized their production costs.
The chairman of NiADAN in Jigawa State, Alhaji Yusuf Baba Muhammad, who spoke at a joint press briefing by the two associations in Dutse, lamented the alleged scandal of a situation where local factories withhold their deposits for products and were exporting to other countries
The group berated the presidential committee on Fertilizer for folding its arms while the fertilizer blending plants continue to export the commodities to foreign countries to make more profit at the detriment of Nigerian farmers and the national food security project.
According to the groups, the major fertilizer blending companies appeared to be sabotaging the presidential policy on agriculture by refusing to deliver their products to the local dealers who deposited their money with the companies, some for over a year, without the supply.
He also accused the Presidential Committee on Fertilizer for failing President Buhari and the nation over the mandate given to them as he appealed for the replacement of the committee with competent hands as matter of emergency before food scarcity and hunger set in