Rice Farmers Allege Irregularities in Inputs’ Distribution

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

As rainy season intensified, rice farmers in Katsina state have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cancel the ongoing distribution of this year’s farming inputs in the state over alleged irregularities.

They also called on the federal government to set up an investigation panel to unravel those they alleged were sabotaging the exercise in the state.

The Katsina Local Government chairman of Rice Farmers Beneficiaries Forum (RFBF), Abubakar Bujawa, said 10,000 farmers in the council registered for the scheme but only 1,580 were shortlisted for data capture.

He alleged that they were illegally disqualified by a firm (Agro Mall) handling the disbursement after passing numerous accreditation that includes data capturing, adding that the disbursement was interfered by political gladiators.

When contacted for comment, an Agro Mall official who supervises the distribution exercise for Katsina local government said: “I don’t have anything to tell you because I’m not in charge.

“Contact our head office may be you can get something from there or state chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN)”.

But the chairman of RIFAN, Shuaibu Wakili, had said last Friday that the union, Agro Mall officials with the representatives of complainants met with CBN officials where they were educated on the misconception of the scheme.