Rice Farmers Debunk Allegations over Funds Diversion

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Gilbert Ekugbe

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Niger State Chapter, has rebutted allegations leveled against the association for siphoning funds meant for boosting rice production in the country.

The Publicity Secretary of RIFAN, Niger State Chapter, Mr. Ibrahim Yusuf, debunked this allegations leveled against the association in a signed statement.

Yusuf stated that an online platform attributed to one Shariff Alhassan accused RIFAN of diversion of funds allotted for boosting rice production.

He said: “The attention of our forum has been drawn to the unverifiable allegations against the coordinator of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Niger State Chapter, in a publication purportedly written by one Shariff M. M Alhassan. RIFAN as a critical stakeholder in the affairs of the nation, we consider the allegation as a mere tale orchestrated to discredit us.

“It is on record that Niger RIFAN remains the leading state in terms of rice production and the Ministry of Agriculture and other state and federal government intervention agencies food can attest to this fact. We challenge the Shariff M. M Alhassan to name the warehouse the rice he claimed were procured were stored by RIFAN Niger state or any actual corruption practice indulged by the association.

“We again restated our position that the report was meant to create rancor in our rank and misinform the public and good people of Niger State. Why did the reporter not make efforts to hear our own side to balance his sensational report, which we believe was meant to pursue a sinister motive?” he asked.

He however, called on the member of the public to debunk rumors and unverified claims, targeted to dent the image of the association.

“We call on the public to disregard this purported tale as we remain focused and committed in boosting local rice production in Niger State. It is noteworthy to state that the pragmatic leadership of Niger State RIFAN has earned its accolades in terms of numerous awards. We again use this opportunity to commend the entire membership RIFAN in Niger State for their efforts to make Niger State chapter of RIFAN successful.”