The federal government and the ministry of agriculture have been urged to pay all the outstanding debts owed previous participants of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) program in order to have all hands on deck for the full participation and actualization of government policy on high food production and agricultural diversification.
The GES programme is an off-shot of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda that encourages firms to supply fertilizers and seeds to about 2500 agro dealers for onward delivery to the farmers, while government pays after ascertaining the quantities supplied and the number of farmers that redeemed their input.
Nigeria Renascent Group, a proactive pressure group, in a release in Lagos stated that with the prevailing situation in the country, vis-à-vis government action to agriculture, famine is imminent in the country if the government does not act fast by ensuring that all important agricultural stake-holder are brought into the project of creating food for all.
It therefore urged the government to pay all the debts owed previous participants of the GES program for this to materialize.
In the release signed by Mr.Abdulrasaq Lawal, the group stated that ‘’the zest at which participants engaged in the GES program, which saw many farmers smile and employment figure rising has diminished.”
“The reason is not far-fetched. Many of who participated actively and whole heartedly have since stopped because they cannot continue, owing to the huge debt of over N47 billion naira owed them by the federal government. While the few others who are participating now are doing so with measured involvement to avoid inactivity”
The group wants the government to “get all stakeholders on board by first settling the outstanding debts owed to them, this will serve as an impetus and will make them enthusiastic and give them the zeal to go all the way in seeing to the success of government diversification to agriculture policy.