The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has kicked against the allocation of more than N13 billion by the federal government for the control of pests in 12 selected northern states.
This was made known through a statement from Kabiru Ibrahim, national president of the AFAN, who lamented that the N13.9 billion earmarked to fight quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers was not provided for in the 2020 budget and therefore is tantamount to “gross misconduct by any public officer who perpetrated it.”
The multibillion-naira intervention fund was approved following a massive invasion of desert locusts in East Africa and the Middle East.
The fund’s beneficiary states include Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno.
Ibrahim called on the National Assembly to convene a hearing for stakeholders to appraise the matter adding that the government should assess the performance of agricultural policymakers in the country.
“For any policy driver to come up with this shows that they are not in firm control of what is happening in the Agriculture space or they are hell-bent on defrauding the food system from the onset.”
“For the farmers who are not sure of even being able to produce anything to wake up to the realization that the government is planning to spend this kind of money on a perceived problem even before it rears its head is nebulous,” Ibrahim proclaimed.
He stressed that the issues related to food security and production are germane, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has tremendously impacted the nation’s health and economic sectors.