Former N-power beneficiaries call out federal ministry of agriculture, decry non-payment of statutory fee

Some former N-power beneficiaries have called on the federal government to honor its agreement and demanded for the payment of its 6-month debt.

The former N-power beneficiaries who become Enumerators that work for Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through its programme; Agriculture for Food And Jobs Planning (AFJP) have also called on the federal government to pay up farmers who participated in the programme.

Speaking with WITHIN NIGERIA, one of the enumerators identified as Ayodele Lawrence said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Project Agriculture Coordination and Execution (PACE) under the coordination of Special Adviser to the President on Agriculture, Dr. Andrew Kwasari engaged the services of former N-power beneficiaries in a 6 biliion naira project where they are to register (enumerate) farmers nationwide as part of the Agriculture for Food and Job Plan (AFJP).

The former N-power beneficiary disclosed that the ministry stated in their engagement letters that they will be paid the sum of five hundred naira (N500) per ever valid survey. (Two hundred and fifty naira on weekly basis while the remaining will be paid at the end of the month after the validation of the survey.

According to the former N-power beneficiary, less than 70% of the enumerators were paid half of the agreed fund from June 2020 till February 2021 while more than 30% of the enumerators have not received a kobo since the inception of the programme in June 2020.

Lawrence also disclosed that the 70% enumerators who received half payment from June 2020 to February 2021 have not recieved a kobo from March 2021 till date including the soil sampling exercise which started in May 2021.

Appealing to the minister of agriculture and rural development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono and stakeholders involved in the project to come to their rescue, Lawrence decried that farmers do not trust the enumerators again and they see them as liars and betrayals over unpaid funds.

We have recieved a lot of calls and messages from farmers whose data were captured for farm inputs but have been neglected. They call us everyday to abuse and sometimes curse us. We have tried our possible best to convince them further but its not working anymore, a rather sad enumerator said.

Advising the federal ministry of agriculture to take advantage of the rainy season, Lawrence revealed that farmers are in dire need of input for the implementation of the AFJP policy.

I have not lost hope. The loan is a zero interest one and the recovery is part of obligations of a enumerator. I pray and wish that the farm inputs will be distributed to farmers before the end of September 2021. This should be done to boost our morale and courage in requesting for loans repayment, Lawrence added.

We also look forward to the promise of the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development that atleast 30,000 enumerators will be greatly considered for the role and service of agriculture extension workers. We look forward to it, he said.