The minister of agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh and his deputy, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, have been named in a N2 billion bribery scandal, according to Pointblanknews.com.
In an exclusive report by the medium, the two ministers were said to have been involved in a bribery scheme as regards a recent part-payment of N15 billion to contractors owed by the ministry.
According to the report, the contractors executed projects under the fertilizer subsidy programme – Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS), initiated by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The programme was introduced in order to enhance farmers’ access to subsidised fertilizer.
The scheme is also aimed at subsidising the costs of major agricultural inputs, such as fertiliser and seedlings for farmers, yam tubers and yam plantation, yam tubers and yam plantation.
Based on the GESS policy, the federal and state governments equally contribute the balance of 50 per cent being the approved subsidy amount for onward payment to participating inputs (fertilizer) suppliers.