In a bid to diversify the nations economy and pull her out from the realm of recession, President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration has adopted an agricultural policy of the immediate past government of Goodluck Jonathan.
The administration has announced that it is reviving the e-wallet system for fertiliser allocation and distribution which it suspended over a year ago Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s agriculture minister, made the disclosure after this week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting
However he said the policy would be modified to fix issues that arose with it in the past. This is Jonathan’s second policy that would be adopted by the Buhari administration within one week
Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal, was earlier quoted as saying that the administration would now fight corruption using technology, an initiative Jonathan campaigned with while presiding over the country.
Buhari had suspended some major policies of the previous administration upon taking over government. These policies included the e-wallet system, which, according to Premium Times, was part of the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to solve the problems created by middlemen in the supply and distribution of fertiliser to farmers
With the policy, about 4.2 million farmers were registered within one year with the figure rising to over 10 million later under Akinwunmi Adesina as agriculture minister up till 2015. Audu Ogbeh had, some months ago, claimed that the policy was riddled with fraud. “We had to look for money from our own sources at the federal level to bear the liabilities of states, “The GES payment was a debt we inherited from the previous administration. The total debt was N57 billion
“When we arrived here, the agro-dealers said they couldn’t operate because they didn’t have bulk money to carry on with their businesses and so we applied to government and appealed for help to raise some money to pay the debt.”