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Buhari will not probe former Agric Minister, Adesina — Ogbeh

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it would give the President, African Development Bank (ADB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, maximum support to succeed in his continental assignment,

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said this in Abuja at a news conference. He also disclosed that the government will not probe the tenure of the former minister.

According to him, Dr Adewumi is the first Nigerian to represent us at the Africa Development Bank despite the fact that we are the largest shareholders in the bank.

'We need to support him in order to succeed,' he added.

Ogbeh told newsmen that there was no iota of truth in the speculation in a section of the media that the Federal Government would probe the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme.

GES scheme was an agricultural support programme by the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration where registered farmers in the country paid 50 per cent cost for seeds and fertiliser.

The scheme assisted many farmers but was faced with allegations of corruption and the quality of seeds distributed to farmers.

There were also complaints against financial claims spent on inputs in 2015.

The minister said, 'Adesina had a good intention for the agricultural sector with some of his policies and that is why we are going to continue with the same programme after a review.

'We are indeed proud of the work the former minister left behind that is why I said in the beginning that we do not intend to do policy somersault but continue with some of the programmes he left behind. '

He said he made a similar remark when the Senate Committee on Agriculture led by Sen. Abdullahi Adamu visited him at the ministry.

He recalled that he suggested the need to verify claims by suppliers, especially the seed sector for the 2015.

'I complained that the bill they gave us appeared too high.

'A bill of N10 billion was given to the Federal Government for the supply of seeds to farmers. We needed to verify the supply before payment.

'I was surprised what came out in the media that says; we are probing the GES programme of the former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Adesina.

'I just want to make it clear to us that there is no probe of Adesina`s tenure by the Federal Government and no intention for that for now.

'If there is reason to probe, we would have said that long ago. '

He said when Adesina was in-charge of the ministry he verified bills before payment because some of the figures submitted by the suppliers might be on the high side. – Vanguard.