DrÂ Sayyadi Ruma, theÂ Â Minister of Â Agriculture andÂ Â Â Â Water Resources, said on Monday that 11 companies would be dragged before the EFCC for a N2.5 billion tractor supply scam.
Ruma said this in Abuja when he inspected the ongoing silos construction site at the ministryâ€™s Project Coordinating Unit, Sheda in Abuja.
He alleged that the contractors collected 25 per cent mobilisation fees from the Federal Government in 2008 to supply the tractors but â€œthey failed to do so.â€
He disclosedÂ that the programme was under the Community Tractors Hiring Scheme.
â€œSixteen contractors were given the 25 per cent mobilisation fees, out of which only two performed very well, two partially supplied the tractors while the remaining 11 were undaunted,â€ he said.
Ruma said that all efforts made by the government including placing notice in various national papers for them to keep to the terms of agreement or refund the money have so far failed.
The minister said since the 11 companies were not forthcoming, the Federal Government had forwarded their names to the EFCC for immediate action.
He said that to ensure effective implementation of the agricultural sectorâ€™s projects, the ministry would introduce a multi_agency task force comprising the FRSC, police, customs, immigration, ICPC, EFCC and SON.
Ruma said that since government inaugurated the community tractors hiring scheme, the nationâ€™s tractors density had increased by 3,900 in just three years as against 40,000 tractors in the last 40 years.
He said that even at this, the ministry still required more than two million tractors to meet the huge demand.
Ruma said that the two million tractors could not be procured through outright purchase as it would cost government more than N250 billion.
According to him, the only option is to maintain the same funding through the demand driven private sector arrangement.
Ruma said that the scheme would be a highly subsidised and that the small farmers would afford the price.