Reps to investigate N275bn commercial agriculture credit loan scheme

Reps to investigate N275bn commercial agriculture credit loan scheme


By Tony Akowe, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the disbursements and compliance of all Agricultural Loans/Credit Facilities to farmers from 2009 to date aimed at enhancing food security in the country.

The decision of the House followed concerns raised by Chike John Okafor that farmers in the country have not been able to access the loan and alleged siphoning of about N105 billion by those saddled with the responsibility of disbursing the fund.

In his motion, Okafor said between 2009 to date, the Federal Government has approved the disbursement of funds to farmers in various Schemes to the tune of over N275 billion, ranging from Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) to Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), to help farmers improve agricultural production and guarantee food security in Nigeria.

He said that apart from increasing food supply, the scheme is to grant agricultural loans to large and small scale commercial farmers to lower the prices of agricultural produce, generate employment and increase foreign exchange earnings.

According to him, since the approval, most farmers have not been able to access the loans due to stringent requirements being demanded by banks from prospective borrowers and the alleged siphoning of over N105 Billion meant for farmers by Management of NIRSAL.

He expressed concerned that food production in the country has not attained the expected level despite the approval of over N 275 Billion facilities to farmers.

He expressed concern that the projected diversification of the economy from oil production to agricultural production and increase in agricultural output, food supply and promoting low food inflation will not be achieved if farmers are unable to access loans meant to increase agricultural production.

Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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