Both genuine and fake farmers who borrowed money from the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), took the loan as a national cake and failed to pay back, leaving the bank with over N20 billion bad loans.
Professor Danbala Danju Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Agriculture disclosed this on Tuesday.
Speaking at the “Back to Agriculture Conference,” organized by the Centre for Values in Leadership, Danju said the bank is therefore taking steps to strictly enforce the Know Your Customer (KYC) principle, to enable it identify genuine farmers and borrowers.
His words: “We need to verify the authenticity of your claim, by taking your biometric information and the exact location of your farm. This information will then be keyed into a data bank whereby we send you information and receive information from you on when you plant, when you reap, what kind of fertilizer you need, what kind of market you need, such that we have a clue of what your harvest will be, what kind of support you need and be able to project what level of profit you are likely to make. This will enable us to structure your facilities and be able to reduce loan default.”
Danju who assumed office in July 2015 promised that the bank’s management is determined to modernize the bank of agriculture so that it will be able to provide the services that are needed.
Though he said the BOA has some challenges, it is getting appropriate attention from the current administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, and is embarking on a modernization exercise in form of restructuring program that is already in place, but might take up to seven to eight months.
Meanwhile, the declining financial performance of the Bank of Agriculture deteriorated in 2015 as its losses shot up by 3,742 percent to N7.1 billion. This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the year ended 2015 released in April 2016.