The Growth Enhancement Support Scheme of the Federal Government of Nigeria has been lauded as a major success and a tool for extending the dividends of democracy to the ordinary Nigerian rural dwellers.
This point was made by a key stakeholder in the input supply business in the country – Alhaji Shuaibu Bello at a recent reception organized by Zamfara State Branch of the All Farmers Association for the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
Alhaji Bello, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Inter Product Link Limited, a major player in the National Fertilizer Distribution Programme of the government, pointed to the visit of the Zamfara delegation as a clear litmus test of the positive impact achieved by the current input distribution policy.
He emphasized the benefits of the GES to include:
- Broad based and impactful reach of subsidy, which said he, has reached the grassroots.
- Extension of single digit interest rate to Agro-dealers which has helped them to expand their businesses – both in terms of size and quality.
- Upsurge of collateral economic activities of different sorts and the concomitant implication on the rural communities: transporters, loaders, input-center, food centers, warehouses and residential accommodation rentage to mention but a few.
- Inflow of investors into the input sector: Indorama, Dangote, Syngenta, Seedco etc.
- Minimized incidence of fertilizer adulteration.
- Above all unprecedented increase in output occasioned by the sum of the already enumerated positives.
He however underscored the need to lock-in these gains through the instrumentality of legislation. In his address to the gathering, the Minister lauded the courage and foresight of the farmers in keying into the GES scheme, while pitching their action as a laudable example for other farmers across the country to emulate.
Alhaja Sani Dahiru, Chaiman of the Zamfara Farmers Association acknowledged the laudable nature of the current reforms in the agricultural sector and pledged their commitment to the efforts of the government.
In demonstration of the appreciation of the Association, a plague of honour was presented to the Minister. The delegation was accompanied by Alhaji Mahmud Shinkafi, a former Governor of Zamfara State, Dr. Malami Buwai, a former Minister of State for Agriculture and Hassan Mohammed Kwazo, the Sarkin Noma Zamfara.
Buwai on his part noted that the visit was to appreciate the Federal Government for its provision of seeds, fertilizers and loans to Zamfara farmers.