The aggrieved enumerators of the Agriculture for Food and Job Plan (AFJP) under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) may be planning to stage a protest over their unpaid stipends, SaharaReporters has learnt.

This was revealed in a leaked audiotape obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday night, which involved an altercation on the phone between an enraged enumerator and an FMARD official.

An AFJP enumerator, which introduced himself as Sule Adamu from Bauchi State had called the FMARD office to ask about their unpaid stipends, but the female official responded that the ministry was working on it.

The response did not go down well with Adamu who argued that the ministry had said that for almost two years without result.

He, therefore, threatened that the unpaid enumerators would stage a protest at the FMARD and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to press home their demands of unpaid stipends and other allowances involved with the package. 

SaharaReporters had published in August 2021 how the agricultural scheme which was inaugurated by the former Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono-led ministry and the Project for Agricultural Co-ordination and Executive (PACE) had owed enumerators. See Also Jobs Double Jeopardy: Dismissed N-Power Beneficiaries Who Joined Another Nigerian Government Scheme Lament Three Months’ Unpaid Stipends

A source affected by the scheme told SaharaReporters in August that, “For more than three months now, enumerators are yet to receive their stipends. And also remaining fifty per cent of the stipends from the inception of the programming are yet to be paid.

“Enumerators had tried their best to get their voice to the necessary authority but nothing has been recorded as the outcome of their hard labour.

“They also promised to train and certify the enumerators after the enumeration exercise. Enumerators are still expecting the fulfilment of this promise.”

In the audio received by SaharaReporters, Adamu said, “This is almost two years. We cannot feed well because of this stupid programme of yours. You are just inflicting pain on people. When are you paying our money because we are planning to storm your ministry tomorrow in Abuja? We are not joking this time so pay us our money.

“I know you are not the one responsible for paying this money but I am sending you to pass this information to your boss. We will storm the office of the Minister of Agriculture, and the office of the Accountant-General and all others holding our money. You didn’t pay our remuneration in June and July, and allowances since February. Why are you so heartless? This your useless programme has done nothing for us. We worked for this and we entitled to have money.”

The FMARD female official responded, “Don’t shout at me like this. I believe you are a learned person. You are telling me that I am useless. Is this the way for you to have your money? If you protest from now till tomorrow; there is nothing to achieve until we finish working on it. I told you we are on it. I can't even deliver this kind of message; so stop shouting.”

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