On Thursday, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development yesterday denied any involvement in the alleged
N2.4 billion fertiliser scam, following recent invitation of the
Permanent Secretary, Ibukun Odusote, and three directors by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
While Addressing journalists in Abuja, Odusote said there was no basis
for the claims made to tarnish the image of the ministry as far as
transparency was concerned.
She maintained that since the current leadership of the ministry
came on board, the fertiliser mess was cleared in less than 90
days, culminating in the electronic registration of 10 million
farmers across the country.
Odusote said: “We are not involved at any point at all in fertiliser
purchase and sale because government officials are not in the process.
“It is important to clear this that the Ministry of Agriculture is no
longer involved in the business of fertiliser, and it cannot be true
that we have any business with the alleged N2. 4 billion fertiliser
“I was at EFCC last week and was to make clear about the alleged
N2.4 billion. What the EFCC wanted was to confirm whether we
have actually paid them and we confirmed that we have not paid
“We have not paid because we needed to clear all that needs to be
cleared. We are clear with our system and have received advice on
how we will pay but only on the basis of what we have.
“The EFCC said we should pay what we are owing the agro-
dealers, which is the N844, 700 million and it has been agreed that
is what we will pay, and we have started paying them the money.
“I don’t know any agro-dealer because there are so many of them,
like this ones they are in Taraba State, and they are at the states’
various redemption centres, and I don’t go there, and how could I
have connived with them.
“There are people who have ribbed the government in the past are
not happy with the transparency mechanism put in placein the
process of fertiliser distribution, and are fighting it.”
However, Ibukun said there was an intended fraud by three agro-
dealers, who borrowed money from their banks, with whom they
“On the side of the three companies, Madalla Enterprises, Ani B.
Barak Nigeria Limited and Al Iman Agro Ventures Limited who are
agro-dealers presented their claims for what I said will be the 50
per cent of government subsidy we discovered that the quantity of
fertiliser they gave out to farmers did not match what our system
tells us they presented.
“They presented a certificate to Enterprise Bank which indicated
that N1, 320, 228, 375 billion and purportedly they wanted us to
pay them, but based on what we supplied discovered that what
they are to be paid is N844, 700 million worth of fertiliser.
“We say we are not going to pay N490, 684, 675, which was the
difference and they wanted to defraud the government.
“We decided that we will not pay until they confirm to us on how
they came about this figure, and we don’t know anything
happening in the bank. We trust our system because it gives the
right information you require.
“As a result of that we stepped down their payments, and also
raised an alarm that something fishy was happening here that
these people are claiming this but this is what our system says. In
raising the alarm the bank also raised the alarm and probably
raised with EFCC,” Ibukun stated.