Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has, during the flagging-off of the sale and distribution of fertilisers, warned officials against diverting the products as relevant security agencies, including the EFCC, DSS, ICPC, and the Police, were invited to monitor the exercise.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba, and other top government officials, said anybody caught diverting fertiliser and other farm inputs would be severely dealt with.
He said his administration was poised to boost agricultural activities, disclosing that each of the 25 local government areas will soon get ten tractors.
The governor then announced that 60,000 bags of fertiliser had been procured to be sold to farmers at a subsidised rate of N18,000, revealing that his farming policy of each government official cultivating one hectare of land was a sure way of boosting agricultural activities in the state.
Gov. Umaru Bago enjoined civil servants to go back to farming, as he himself will soon be acquiring land to farm.
He said, "Every civil servant who doesn't want to suffer must go back to the farm. I enjoined you today to at least cultivate one hectare of land because I myself will go back to farming".
He said the entire farming space would be cultivated as measures were put in place to ensure the lives and properties of farmers were protected, and he announced the donation of 300 hand pumps to farmers by the Bago Foundation.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alh. Shehu Yusuf Galadima, expressed appreciation to the governor for the gesture. He said the scheme will help crash the prices of foods on the market.
He pleaded with officials in charge of the distribution of the fertilisers to put God first and ensure that only genuine farmers benefitted from the products.
He then advised farmers against selling the products and called on the government to renovate the 13 irrigation sites in the state to encourage dry season farming in the state, while also commending the governor for taking measures that help improve security in the state.
The President of the National Association of Niger State Students (NANISS), Comrade Khali Bababubu, has appealed to Governor Mohammad Umaru Bago to provide Niger State students with palliatives following the removal of fuel subsidies by the Federal Government.
He said the removal of fuel subsidy has affected the cost of living and brought untold hardship to both parents and students in the state.
Comrade Khali, who stated this in Minna, said most indigent students find it difficult to pay tuition and transportation fare across the country.
He stated that constant disbursements of bursaries for both domestic and foreign students will go a long way towards alleviating their suffering.
He further stated that the National Association of Niger State Students was expecting a lot from Governor Umaru Bago as he promised to provide the needed palliatives to cushion the effect of new government policy.
He appealed to the governor to regularly pay scholarships to Niger State students, as it will assist the less fortunate students to pursue their education in various tertiary institutions within and outside the state.
He described Governor Bago as student-friendly and assured the governor that NANISS will continue to support his administration for a better Niger State.
Comrade Khali Bababubu advised the students to be of good moral behaviour as leaders of tomorrow, owing to the huge investment in education by the government.
He said that there was a cordial relationship between the Niger State Scholarship Board and the National Association of Niger State Students.