…As CBN Drags 70,000 To Court
Kebbi Rice Farmers that got N17 billion federal government’s anchor borrower of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said they thought the money was free.
It was gathered that out of the 70,000 registered people who benefitted from the N17 billion to farm rice in Kebbi in 2015, non could pay back.
This led to the government to sued about 70,000 Kebbi state farmers for failure to repay the N17billion loan they had collected under the Anchor Borrower Programme.
In November, 2015, President Muhammed Buhari, launched the CBN Anchor Borrower Programme in Kebbi state with the sum of N17 billion shared to the farmers.
The Kebbi State chairman of Rice Farmer Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Muhammed Sahabi Augie, had told Daily Trust that out of the 70,000 farmers that benefitted from the loans in 2015, only about 200 farmer were able to settle their loan.
Augie said all the 70,000 people standing trial before courts across the state were genuine farmers verified by independent body before qualified for the loan.
“We find it very difficult to recover this loan. We had to resort to taking the farmers to court.
“As at now in every magistrate you go, we have given the list of the farmers to recover the loan. Our drive for loan recovery is now in the court. None could pay back out of the 70,000 registered in 2015.
“Of the 70,000 that had benefited from the loan in 2015, not up to 200 farmers repaid their loan. Most of the farmers had got a wrong impression that the loan is a free money.
“I think it is a biggest lie for any person, group of persons of a political party to say Anchor Borrower programme did not impacted positively for the state.
“Before the launch of the programme in 2015, the state’s total rice production capacity is 70,000 metric tonnes per annum but by 2016 it has increased to 1.2 million metrics tonnes per annum. This testified that it was the real farmers that benefitted from the loan; otherwise the production level wouldn’t have jack up,” Augie said.