President Muhammadu Buhari has authorised the payment of the outstanding N22bn that is meant for dealers of agricultural inputs, popularly known as agro-dealers, to ensure the smooth distribution of fertilisers at an approved rate of N5,500 for 50kg.
The National Chairman, Agro-dealers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Kabiru Fara, revealed this to journalists in Abuja . He noted that Buhari had to approve the payment of the balance of N22bn out of the N66bn that was owed the agro-dealers by the previous government.
According to him, “The presidential initiative on fertiliser distribution is too important. We are happy with it because it will help the farmers get inputs at affordable prices and we are the ones who serve as a link between the farmer and the supplier”.
“The presidential initiative on fertiliser distribution is too important. We are happy with it because it will help the farmers get inputs at affordable prices and we are the ones who serve as a link between the farmer and the supplier” he said
“However, our bankers and suppliers are not happy in dealing with us for now, because we have their money hanging, as well as some of our money that are still not paid. This liability was not incurred by the present administration, but we are happy that they have agreed to pay. We understand that Mr. President has approved expressly that the liability be paid. ” he noted
“The total amount is about N62bn, a first payment of N20bn was made, another payment of N20bn followed, which was about a year ago, and the balance now is N22bn, which the President has approved that it be paid to agro-dealers expressly. We are grateful for that.”
Fara urged the government to ensure that fertilisers were sold at the approved price of N5,500 across the country through proper coordination of the exercise.
“Our recommendation is that the presidential initiative team should look at the issues of logistics and factor how fertilisers are to be delivered to centres where they are needed at N5,000 per bag. For they say agro-dealers’ money should be N500, but when you check the distances to transport the commodity, N500 won’t be enough in many instances”.
AgroNigeria recalls that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, earlier this year announced that the Federal Government was working out bring down the price of fertiliser by 50 per cent.