The National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers
(NAYFPM) has apologised to the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing
System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) for the wrongful accusations
made against the organization.
In a letter dated Wednesday, 26th December, 2018. President of NAYFPM,
Prof. Simon Irtwange explained that upon interaction with
representatives of NIRSAL and the Department of State Service (DSS), he
had come to “appreciate the concerns of NIRSAL and DSS and now
understands the reasons for the investigations carried out by both
entities” regarding the activities of the Association in Ondo State.
Irtwange acknowledged that the views expressed in the initial letter
circulated by NAYFPM on the matter were “inaccurate in relation to the
perceived insinuations or allegations made against NIRSAL.”
It would appear that the Association’s action sprung from the outcome of a
meeting held recently, where NAYFPM was reassured of the commitment of NIRSAL to the advancement of the Yam value chain. This much is alluded in the letter as mention is made of a meeting in Abuja. “I confirm that we, NAYFPM represented by myself, Engr. Prof. Simon Irtwange, FNSE as National President, sought to meet with NIRSAL [in Abuja] and we were
graciously received by its staff to discuss potential areas of collaboration on the production of Yam, based on National Yam Development and Export Strategy projects and initiatives.”
Accordingly, NAYFPM stated in its publication: “We plead to withdraw, by
this letter of apology, all perceived insinuations/allegations and
damaging communications about NIRSAL that we have circulated to the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Honourable Minister,
Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development; Honourable
Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Governor,
Central Bank of Nigeria; Department of State Services, Ondo State, the
media and other recipients”.
It will be recalled that in a letter dated, Friday 9th November, 2018.
Prof. Irtwange had raised an alarm, accusing NIRSAL of misinformation,
neglect and unmitigated media campaign through handbills and
publications all targeted against its Members and Consultants operating
in Ondo state. This was a reaction to newspaper publication by NIRSAL on
Thursday, November 8th, 2018.
According to the letter, NIRSAL, in this publication, put out an alert
to farmers and people involved in the agricultural value chain to be
cautious of people who mask themselves as operatives of NIRSAL with the
objective of extorting money. NIRSAL in their publication made reference
to an on-going case in Ondo state which was under investigation.
NAYFPM responded to this publication with the conviction that it was
directed to the association, particularly on account of its issue with
NIRSAL under investigation by the DSS in Ondo state.
A sum of N2,000 each had been collected for Afrishare Agro Export
Limited logistics, documentation and geo-mapping of yam farms for the
CBN Anchor Borrower Programme administered by NIRSAL.