The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has responded to the recent spate of allegations of corruption involving senior officials in its Department of Farm Inputs Support Services.
Investigation by AgroNigeria reveals that the media report are the direct work of fifth columnists working to undermine the efforts of the ministry to sanitize the subsidy input distribution situation in the country. AgroNigeria can authoritatively confirm that the collection of Vested Interests who stand to lose out of the recent restructuring and repositioning exercise in the Ministry, have taken it upon themselves to feed the Nigerian public with lies and half-truths aimed at casting a shadow over the work of the Ministry in achieving the mandate of emergency food production handed out by none other than the Nigerian President himself.
These reports are malicious and aimed at subverting the efforts of the present administration. “They are the work of 5th Columnists hellbent on triggering a regime of disaffection against the work of the FMARD and project a general feeling of disillusion among our populace. The unintended fallout of this spate of fabricated reports is that at a time like this, when the country is grappling with one of the worst level of food price hikes and our citizens are experiencing compellingly hard times, they (fake tales) make certain to distract from the profound response of the agricultural Ministry to the urgent mandate of Mr. President. There could be no worse evil, desperately requiring countermanding.
AgroNigeria has interacted with the leadership of the FMARD and the FISS Department and the management of the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-Pocket and can authoritatively report that these assertions being canvassed are misleading and malicious. “You can rest assure that the National Agricultural Growth Scheme is not in any way in a crisis, nor is it’s leadership involved in any corruption activity, let alone at the scale being reported. The content of those reports in the media space are, at best, the concocted extensions of the workings of a perverted mind’s musings” says Richard-Mark Mbaram, Focal Person (Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships) of the NAGS-AP, the National Emergency Food Production project being implemented in response to the Presidential Declaration of a State of Emergency in food security. Funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group to the tune of $158m USD. Reports reaching AgroNigeria is that the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has indicated interest to expand the NAGS-AP funding docket by an additional $110m USD. Mbaram points to this as a clear indication of confidence reposed in the handling of the Project by the FMARD. “I challenge the Punch Newspapers and any other news platform to salvage their reputations by understating a verification exercise on the allegations made instead of giving vent to maliciously intended sensationalization efforts”, Mbaram added.
Overall, the NAGS-AP Focal Person added that the disposition of the leadership of the Ministry is to remain pin-pointedly focused on the task handed to it by the President, while assuring the Nigerian public that all efforts are being put into radically increasing the food production and availability situation in the country.
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