Documents from the Federal Ministry of Finance have shown that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has spent the sum of N2.78 billion on farmers’ registration as part of its COVID-19 intervention programme.
In the document made available by the Ministry of Finance in response to the Freedom of Information (FOI) request, part of the things the Agriculture Ministry claims to have done with the huge sum is registration of farms, mapping, and soil sampling.
A senior official at the Agric Ministry that spoke to MAWA Foundation and does not want to be mentioned, said the money went into deep corruption as it was simply shared.
He added that there is no effective and comprehensive list of farmers in the Agric ministry database to justify spending that huge amount of money, he added.
“What is going on in the Ministry of Agriculture is a huge corruption that must be immediately addressed, if you spend N2.78 billion to register farmers, how much will be spent in supporting them,” the senior official told MAWA.
“I challenge you to approach the court to compel the Agric Ministry to show Nigerians and the world how it spend N2.78 billion on farmers’ registration, I can assure you, the money was simply gotten from the Ministry of Finance and was shared” the official added.
Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian president had in September sacked Mr. Mohammed Nanono, the then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Although the president did not give the reason for his sack, however, insider sources say he may have been sacked as a result of alleged corruption that happened under his watch.
Agric ministry is not an exception, a huge number of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who got COVID-19 Funds simply diverted the money, MAWA Foundation learned.