Access Bank

Agric minister, Dr Adesina: Feeding Nigerians with bogus data

Dr.-Akinwumi-AdesinaMinister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesi¬na has lambasted a former minister, Mallam Ad¬amu Bello, describing him as one past public officer who achieved nothing throughout his tenure in the former Pres¬ident Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Adesina was reacting to claims of his predecessor who claimed that all the stories of Adesina were not supported with verifiable facts.
Meanwhile, Adesina challenged the former minister to prove that the current dispensation is not delivering on the coun¬try’s agricultural needs. Bello had stirred the hornet’s nest, giving thumbs down to the agricultural sector under the Transformation Agenda Presi¬dent Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and wonder¬ing why the current minister should glory in “non-existent” achievements in the area.
In his reaction, spokes¬man for the minister, Dr. Olu¬kayode Oyeleye challenged Bello to show what positive reforms his seven-year tenure brought to Nigeria’s agricul¬tural sector.
“It will help greatly for Adamu Bello to point to the number of investments gener¬ated in seven years, whereas, within two years, under Ad¬esina, Nigeria has attracted US$4 billion in private sector investments in the agricultural sector,” he said.
He continued: “Adamu Bello never told Nigerians the truth about his actual per¬formance in office. Let him give details commodity-by-commodity, and let him state where and how this impact was felt. In 2004, under Ad¬amu Bello, there was some¬thing interesting about growth rates in agricultural sector. His ‘perfect’ growth rate of 6.50% for crop production, 6.50% for fisheries, 6.50 % for livestock and 6.50% for forestry should raise eyebrows as this smacks off some form of cosmetic and fuddled growth statistics, an indication of some tinkering somewhere.
“Earlier in the year, Adamu compared his seven years in office with Adesina’s first ag¬riculture year in 2012, relying on National Bureau of Statis¬tics (NBS) alone. In doing so, he was one-sided in his analy¬sis, seeking to confuse Nigeri¬ans with manipulative figures.
However, as much as Adesina tried to defend his performance, he did not specifically addressed the issue of fertilizer subsidy scam which he often listed as his best performance indicator.
According Adamu ‘it is only God the Almighty that will judge the unfair way past administrations are being portrayed.
To claim that there was subsidy of N870 billion spent on fertilizers since the use of fertilizers was initially encouraged by the Government about 40 years ago is most unfair, as I doubt if the entire agricultural budgets for the whole period was up to that sum. For a fact, from 1999-2007, the total subsidy on fertilizers was under N25 billion. This can be verified from the Budget Office of the Federal Ministry of Finance. However, according to Dr. Adesina the subsidy which was abused and corruptly taken was claimed to be N26 billion annually over a period of 40 years. He further claimed only N2.9 billion reached the farmers annually. Any discerning person can see clearly that under Obasanjo’s administration, we had only N3 billion on average per annum for fertilizer subsidy. How can N26 billion be corruptly taken annually when only N3 billion was allocated annually? And where did the figure of N870 billion subsidy on fertilizers come from when only about N25 billion was committed in eight years, which represent 20% of the 40 years mentioned? It is clear that there is no basis for the claim being made by Dr Adesina except for the purposes of getting unearned awards at the expense of those who served in previous administrations. Middlemen in Fertilizer Distribution The Minister of Agriculture proudly stated that he stopped corruption of 40 years in 90 days. This statement is misplaced, as over the purported period, he had not overseen the purchase of a single bag of fertilizer. This can only be accepted as a statement of intent and not an achievement. Dr. Adesina can only claim this as an achievement if there was successful supply of fertilizers to farmers during that period. Under the Obasanjo administration, we NEVER HAD A SINGLE MIDDLEMAN. Fertilizers were sent directly to state governments that then arranged distribution to their own farmers. It is a great pity that Dr. Adesina keeps on making claims instead of doing his job and allowing to be judged afterwards. I would not have had any problems with his false claims except that it tends to disparage those who served before him and their respective Presidents’.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *