From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State Government has procured 50 units of tractors for this year’s cropping and planting season.
Governor Samuel Ortom who disclosed this yesterday while flagging off distribution of the tractor at Government House, Makurdi, intimated that the tractors were procured from the two (2) billion naira agricultural loan secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN in 2015.
Hr reiterated that government will not condone those who took the loan and have failed to pay back, warning sternly that anyone who flouts the guidelines, will be prosecuted.
The Governor said the tractors which were procured at 13.9 million naira per unit, will be highly subsidized with the beneficiaries paying the 40 percent that is 5.6 million naira, while government will pay 60 percent translating to 8.3 million naira.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture will sign an agreement with the beneficiaries to ensure that no tractor is diverted outside the State, warning that any tractor found outside the State will be impounded forthwith.
“The essence of this is to ensure that the tempo of agricultural production in the State is sustained and maintained. Each of the 23 local government areas will be given one while All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria, AFAN will have three(3) for the three(3)senatorial district”,he said.
While condemning the attack on Jootar, Ukum Local Government Area of the State by suspected Jukun militia in which three (2) persons were killed and some Police officers missing, thr Governor said he had scheduled a meeting with his Taraba counterpart on Saturday in Lafia to discuss a lasting solution to the crisis.