The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Heineken Lokpobiri has said government is committed to pay the outstanding debt of N29billion naira to agro dealers
Senator Lokpobiri said this followed the reconciliation of agricultural input suppliers who participated in the 2014/2015 Growth Enhancement Support Scheme.
It is to be recalled that of the N67billion outstanding payment,the government had paid a N20billion part payment to the agro dealers, even as he revealed Cellulant (the company that operated the scheme) and the agro dealers were able to reconcile the outstanding payment.
Lokpobiri, who revealed this during the 2016 Seed Fair by the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), said the presidency has assured it would provide the funds to settle the debt immediately the ministry is able to reconcile and come to a more realistic and defensible deal.
“The good news I have for agro dealers is that the reconciliation process to off-set your debt has been completed and the presidency have assured us that they would provide money for us to pay the debt” he said.
He maintained that the federal government was working out ways to ensure that the agro dealers are paid their money as soon as possible so that they can remain in business.
Lokpobiri said the present administration plan is to subsidize seed at 70-90 percent to the farmers adding that the government is reviewing the previous policy wherein states and the federal government share the payment of the seeds distributed to farmers and the federal government is taking up the entire payment.