- Not less than 3,383 farmers in Taraba state have escaped with N364m loan from CBN
- This was disclosed by Tanko Andami, the acting chairman Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria Taraba state chapter
- The funds were collected as loans by farmers between 2018 and 2019 for both wet and dry season farming
About 3,383 farmers that collected the N364 million loan for both wet and dry season farming between 2018 and 2019 in Taraba state are on the run.
According to The Guardian, Taraba state chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) disclosed this.
Tanko Andami, the acting chairman of RIFAN, said the amount which was collected as loans has not been refunded by any of the farmers, adding that many of them are on the run now.
Andami went on to question why the farmers failed to adhere to the conditions of loans. He said: “None of them, as I am talking with you, has refunded the facility extended to them, and many of them are on the run now.”
The funds were made available to the farmers by the federal government under its rice production programme, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the beneficiaries via various multi-purpose co-operative societies.
The beneficiaries of the CBN loans were from Lau, Gassol, Wukari, Karim-Lamido, Ardo-Kila and Jalingo councils of Taraba state and registered under 185 multi-purpose co-operative societies.
According to Daniel Gani, the vice-chairman of the association, most of the farmers thought the loan was “a gift” from the government, adding that they looked at it as allowance and bonus from the Nigerian president.
Gani, while expressing dismay that some of the beneficiaries have changed their contact information, said no farmer has been traced, except the deceased.
He said though the association was on “a recovery process,” they would, however, leave no stone unturned in its efforts to recover the loans.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that President Muhammadu Buhari challenged Nigerian farmers on the need to embark on massive productive agricultural activities this farming season as Nigeria has no money for food importation.
The president gave the challenge shortly after observing this year’s Eid prayer alongside members of his family and few presidential aides at the presidential villa, Abuja.
President Buhari, who spoke to State House correspondents, said: “I hope the raining season would be bountiful, so that we get a lot of food.'"
In a related development, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, said Nigerian rice can compete favourably in the global market.
This is contained in a statement by the Director Information in the Ministry, Theodore Ogaziechi, made available in Abuja.
Nanono, according to the statement, made the disclosure during a working visit to rice farms and mills of Stallion Group Limited, Popular Farms and Mill Limited – producers of Stallion rice in Kano.
The minister said that Nigerian rice would compete favourably in the global market the moment exportation began. “If we maintain this momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries,” he said.
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