By Lanre Omotosho / Ilorin
Kwara State Government says suspension of Permanent Secretary and some other officials of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development remains indefinite.
Kwara State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Adenike Afolabi-Oshatimehin made the clarification in an exclusive interview with Correspondent Lanre Omotoso in Ilorin.
Mrs Adenike Afolabi-Oshatimehin said the officials were suspended due to illegal sales of forms to farmers in the state last year without approval of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The Kwara State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development explained that suspension of all officials named in the alleged extortion of farmers would last until investigation is concluded to determine their fate.
In a remark, Kwara State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Comrade Olawale Ajibola, applauded Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq for the suspension, calling for prohibition on sales of forms to Farmers in the state before they could benefit from the state government’s empowerment program.
Comrade Olawale said he had earlier warned those suspended for selling forms to farmers to desist from such act, noting that the state already had database of farmers which were done free of charge.
While noting that registration of new farmers could be done free of charge as carried out by previous adminstration when farmers were given loans and other supports, the AFAN Chairman urged farmers in the state to be weary of exploitation by individual or group in the disguise of benefits to them.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government had promised to refund money to victim-farmers who would be requested to bring forward the said forms they purchased to claim their refund.