By COMRADE BELLO YUSUF
The Nigeria Incentive based risk sharing system for agric lending (NIRSAL) was set up to provide guarantees and support for agriculture in Nigeria and has received tremendous support from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government in their quest to diversify the economy.
However, investigations have revealed that the board and management are working against the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Government and majority of Nigerians.
From their mode of employment which has cronyism and nepotism written all over it and the recruitment of unqualified personnel, Nirsal has become a laughing stock among development partners and stakeholders in the agriculture value chain.
The waste in Government resources is clearly exemplified in the recent training tour of over 100 staffs to South Africa which was nothing but a jamboree and against President Muhammadu Buhari’s ban on foreign training tours.
This particular tour according to our sources was organized and conducted by the same group of people who handle all the training contracts in Nirsal and one begins to wonder the essence of holding it in South Africa with all the beautiful locations across the Country.
Majority of the staff are demoralized and not impressed with the quality of training programmes being organized as they hope to further develop themselves through these trainings.
Training programmes has become a major conduit for the Board and management to siphon funds for themselves as they award these contracts to themselves neglecting the multitude of prequalified vendors in their system.
The farmers who should be the ultimate beneficiaries of Nirsal programmes are the most affected as due to corruption and insider dealings, most of the programmes mapped out for the farmers are abandoned for selfish reasons.
NIRSAL which ought to be one of the success stories of President Buharis’ Government has become a huge embarrassment which must be dealt with immediately.
As the general elections approach,It has become imperative for President Buhari to order an investigation into the activities of NIRSAL as these allegations are clear acts of sabotage to derail his promise to Nigerians in diversifying the economy through agriculture amongst others.