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How Taraba officials ‘scammed 6000 farmers’ We lost over 60M – Food Security MD

Big Fraud in NIRSAL;*

Farmers petitions Presidency, EFCC

Efforts to enhance food security and rid Nigeria of dependency on imported foodstuffs, the Federal Government, through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) programme has failed in Taraba State. 
The invested efforts of the Federal Government in the case of Taraba State are being rubbished, jeopardized, and thwarted by officials NIRSAL in Taraba state and Food Security Ltd, an Agricultural Firm  and off taker involved in aggregating over 6,000 farmers in the state . TarabaTruth and Facts has gathered.
TarabaTruth and Facts had learnt that the sum of N278,000 were disbursed to each account, but farmers were  wantonly denied access to the said accounts until 80 percent of the fund was illegally deducted by the bank in conaviance with some officials of NIRSAL in Taraba State.
 “We are over 6,000 farmers and we paid N2,500 to register for the programme through Food Security and NASAIL but to our greatest dismay,  we didn’t get anything like other states, NARSAL officials in Taraba state led by one Kalvin Karami did not release inputs and money to us, now they are claiming that flood carried away rice farms. Mr Kalvin must be made to account for our money, normal sense knows flood could not occur in the dry season of the operation.” Concerned Farmers Coordinator Muhammed Maruwa told this paper.
He added that  that the ongoing rumor  that flood washed away cultivated rice farms under the programme coordinated by NASAIL is a smokescreen to cover up money paid into ‘ghost farmers account’. 
Maruwa said the larger part of the N278,000 was illegally deducted from farmers account, while some ‘ghost accounts’ were used to replace genuine farmer accounts to receive the money from the Federal Government  
The  Concerned Farmers, Taraba state chapter, has submitted a petition to  the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) zonal office in Yola, asking the commission to investigate the corrupt practices involving the officials of Food Security and NIRSAL in Taraba state.

The group, in its petition to the ICPC, alleges that since application in 2017 till date, the programme under the watch of Food Security and NIRSAL has turned out to be obviously deceitful, and oppressive to over 6000 farmers registered under Food Security in the state.

The petitioners alleged that within minutes about 80% of the money were mischievously deducted from the sum of N278,000 initially disbursed to each farmer from the Federal Government's Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System by the state's officials of NIRSAL.

The group lamented that the said farmers who were used as specimens and made to go through the deceitful experiment, did  not received any materials and items that would have been used for dry season farming.

Maruwa  noted with sadness how the said food security and NIRSAL officials have withheld everything, making nothing available, accessible to Taraba farmers, thus making them hopeless and vulnerable despite glaring fact that the federal government, as seen across all other states of the federation, had released the funds and all the needed  inputs for farmers.

The group also disowns a purported  letter in which the NIRSAL officials have written to the federal government that flood washed away cultivated rice farms belonging to farmers, and now they are awaiting compensation.

The group therefore asked the commission to investigate the claims by officials of NIRSAL that farming plots were allocated to victims of flood in Taraba as no plot whatsoever was allocated to any known farmer in the state for the said purpose.
Responding to  petition, CEO Food Security Lawan Mohammed Neka  told Taraba Truth and Facts that  his company has lost about 60 million to the failed programmed caused by NIRSAL officials in Taraba , saying his company is seeking redress in court.
He noted that no Farmer farmed under the NIRSAL progremme in Taraba state, therefore its impossible for flood to have wash away any NIRSAL beneficiary farm.
“We did not farm at all and only NIRSAL officials in Taraba state can give reasons for that, Food Security and its Farmers are taking NIRSAL to court unless otherwise because of their failure to release resources and inputs after meeting all requirements. 
Its only NIRSAL Taraba State that can give reasons why the farmers did not farm, my work is to aggregate the farmers to NIRSAL and I was not paid for that that’s why am going to court because they tarnished my image and that of my company, they denied our farms the resources and inputs to go into farming which has caused a lot of problem between me and my farmers. My duty is to protect the farmers because if the farmers had succeeded in this project we would have made over a billion from rice farming.    We leased the farm and we paid for it based on an agreement with NIRSAL but their officials here in Taraba didn’t released the resources and inputs for farming, the programme is for a year and nothing has been done from NIRSAL,  I really sympathized  with the farmers because the mission of this programme is to encourage youths to go back to farming it was successful in other states but failed in Taraba because some people are just greedy.”
The man in the eye of the storm, Kalvin Karami, Head of NIRSAL Taraba state however refuse to talk to our reporter severally when contacted on his MTN mobile line.
“I don’t have anything to say about it,” Karami said as he hung up several calls made to him in two weeks.

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