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BOA accused of sabotaging FG’s efforts to boost agriculture

A Zaria-based large scale farmer, Alhaji Isyaku Usman, has alleged that those entrusted with the Anchor Borrowers Programme for farmers across the country are sabotaging…

A Zaria-based large scale farmer, Alhaji Isyaku Usman, has alleged that those entrusted with the Anchor Borrowers Programme for farmers across the country are sabotaging the effort of the Federal Government.

 He made the claim while speaking with journalists recently, in Kaduna where he alleged that some of the off-takers of the Federal Government and Central Bank (FGN/CBN) Anchor Borrowers programme were diverting the farm inputs and agricultural loan approved by the government for their own use.

 He also alleged that a seed production company based in Zaria was involved in the shady deals, of diverting farm inputs, seeds, fertilizer, chemicals and cash which the Federal Government approved for farmers, in connivance with officials of the agric bank in Kaduna.

 In a letter of complaint addressed to the managing director of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in Kaduna dated May 30, 2017, Alhaji Isyaku Usman said he was one of the beneficiaries of the FGN/CBN Anchor Borrowers programme in Zaria. 

He said he applied for loan and other inputs to farm five hectares of land on  November 14, 2016, the Bank of Agriculture Zaria branch but that only N190,000 and 25 bags of fertilizers were disbursed to farmers to farm within one month and repay with their farm produce.

He said: “The actions of the officials contravene the intention of the government and the programme and in an attempt to frustrate the programme they connived with the off-takers,” adding that “Our farm input and the balance of cash that were supposed to be distributed or disbursed were diverted to unknown places.”

 The farmer, who called for investigation into the matter, expressed shock at the attitude of the officials of the Bank of Agriculture whose duty was processing, coordinating the programme and the loan, but were found wanting in all fronts.

 When contacted, the spokesman of the Bank of Agric, Mr. Oluremi Olaoye, denied the allegation. 

Mr. Oluremi, who said the process of getting inputs and payment was transparent, added that  there were many checks and balances involved to get the payment and that there is no way the bank could divert money or inputs meant for the farmers. 

 He said: “You might need to investigate and verify for yourself, because they are telling you lies. For the inputs, we don’t touch or distribute them, they don’t come to us, so how can we divert inputs we don’t touch?”

 

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