Sudi demands probe of NCPB staff over State fertiliser racket

Tuesday, March 12th, 2024 02:00 | By
Oscar Sudi
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. PHOTO/Print

Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi has petitioned the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate a section of National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) officials in the North Rift he accused of corruption in the distribution of subsidised fertilizer.

Speaking in Eldoret yesterday, the outspoken MP raised alarm regarding the presence of cartels working with rogue NCPB officials who demand bribes from desperate farmers to access the subsidised farm input.

Sudi has asked EACC sleuths to move with speed and bring to book the cartels and NCPB officials involved in the scheme to sabotage the government’s plans to avail the commodity to farmers ahead of planting season.

The lawmaker cited Lessos NCPB depot in the neighbouring Nandi, which he said was rampant due to high demand for the subsidised fertilizer.

“Farmers are compelled to offer bribes in order to access the subsidised fertilizer and those who do not give in to the demand are turned away in broad-day light,” he said.

Sudi, a close ally of President William Ruto, emphasised the need for fairness in the distribution of the fertilizer to avoid crisis of shortage during the planting season.

“There is a problem at NCPB depots in the North Rift region due to long queues as farmers are being compelled to part with money if they expect to be served quickly,” said Sudi.

Rogue officials

Sudi was reacting to complaints by hundreds of maize farmers over their inability to access the subsidied fertilizer due to infiltration of brokers working in cohort with some rogue NCPB officials in the distribution of the commodity.

Led by Daniel Bett, the farmers have asked the government to intervene by rooting out the corrupt officials for using the brokers to extort money from them.

“These cartels are taking advantage of the long queues witnessed at various NCPB depots to ask for bribes on behalf of agency’s officials in order to access the fertilizer faster,” said Bett.

He claimed that some of the farmers have been camping at the NCPB depots for the last one week but are yet to purchase the farm input due to infiltration of cartels who are controlling the distribution exercise.

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