Friday, December 2, 2022

We spent only N2.5 billion to clear bush; N16.4 billion used to register farmers, others: Agric Minister

“The ministry wishes to state that if the statement emanated from the House Public Account Committee, the committee must have been quoted out of context.”

• August 18, 2022
FMARD and House of Reps
FMARD and House of Reps

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development says it spent N18.9 billion on farmers’ registration, soil sampling, mapping, and rehabilitation, among other things, not only on clearing bush during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The ministry’s spokesman Joel Oruche disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

The ministry came under knocks by Nigerians after the House of Representatives, during a probe hearing, raised doubts about the bush-clearing project of the ministry.

“During the lockdown of the country as a result of COVID-19, some companies took contracts worth about N18 billion for bush clearing from the federal ministry of agriculture for land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others. We cannot shave their heads in their absence,” said Wole Oke, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on public accounts. “We have invited them to come and give us their own side by responding to the issues and show us the places they are supposed to have cleared. They have to take us to the land they cleared”

The ministry said it only carried out bush clearing and land preparation of 3,200 hectares in eight states (Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Cross River, Kaduna, Kwara, Plateau and Ogun), allocated by their governments at the cost of N2.5 billion.

The agric ministry explained that the ministry executed other projects during the COVID–19 period that amounted to N18.9 billion, including rural road construction in the country’s six geopolitical zones. Others were soil sampling and mapping, farmers registration and rehabilitation and equipping four national soil laboratories in Umudike, Ibadan, Kaduna and Abuja.

“The ministry wishes to state that if the statement emanated from the House Public Account Committee, the committee must have been quoted out of context. To put the record straight, however, the ministry at no time received any audit query to warrant summon by the committee,” the ministry’s statement added.

According to the statement, the projects were part of a stimulus package under President Muhammadu Buhari’s Agriculture for Food and Jobs Programme to generate employment and grow the economy to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 


We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

EFCC chair Abdulrashid Bawa


3,440 Nigerian fraudsters convicted in 2022, says EFCC chairman Bawa

“In terms of prosecution of cases in court, I am glad to inform you that, between January and November 25 this year, EFCC recorded 3,440 convictions.”



One person killed in Enugu road crash: FRSC

One person has been killed in an auto crash within the Enugu metropolis.

Secretary to the state government(SSG) Ibrahim Kashim and Hard Drugs used to illustrate the story.


Widespread use of hard drugs in Bauchi worrisome: SSG

The Bauchi government says it is worried about the widespread sale and use of hard drugs in the state.


Enugu DisCo laments vandals destroying its equipment

EEDC has arrested and handed eight electricity installation vandals to the police for investigation and prosecution.

Akin-George Fashola

Hot news Home top

Lagos begins issuing international driver’s permit

The Lagos government says it will start issuing international driver’s permit effective this month.

Olufunmilayo Balogun-Alexander


Guterres appoints Nigerian Balogun-Alexander UN resident coordinator in Timor-Leste

Ms Balogun-Alexander has more than 30 years of experience working on and leading humanitarian, peace and development projects at a senior level globally.