The federal government has decried the huge fertiliser debts it inherited from the former President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration.
The government said it had to pay the outstanding N65 billion owed to fertilisers suppliers by the past administration.
In a statement made available to journalists on yesterday, September 5 by the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, the government said it was wrong for the Jonathan administration to purchase fertilisers worth N65 billion since 2014 and left the bill unpaid.
He said that the Federal Government had to pay off the debt so that the suppliers could begin to supply fertilisers again.
The government had suspended the programme when it came into power due to the scale of uncleared debt, but reversed the decision last week.
Part of the statement read: “This government believes that Nigerians deserve to know the truth. People stole unbelievable amounts of money. The kind of money some of these ex-officials hold is itself a threat to the security of the state.
“Since it is not money earned, they feel no pain deploying just anyhow to thwart genuine and well-intentioned government efforts.
“Sadly, even that which was not stolen was wasted. Government coffers were left empty, with huge debts unpaid and unrecorded (this government is working to quantify the amount owed).
“Even the current high food prices can be traced to past deceit. For example, the previous government purchased fertilisers in 2014, worth N65 billion and left the bill unpaid.
“In 2015 the suppliers could not supply fertilisers which resulted in a low harvest, shortages and high food prices.
“This government had to pay off the debt so that the suppliers could begin to supply fertilisers again.’’