The House of Representatives, on Thursday, unveiled plans to investigate the non-recovery of the sum of N81,502,822,030.31 debt, disbursed to some companies.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to investigate the usage of funds disbursed by the Bank of Agriculture to Anchor Companies under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), sponsored by Hon. Sergius Ogun.
In his lead debate, Hon. Ogun noted that the agency which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on 17 November 2015, with the intent to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing of loans for Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) of key agricultural commodities, has failed in ensuring judicious use of the fund.
“The thrust of the ABP is the provision of loans to smallholder farmers to boost production of key agricultural commodities like cereals (rice, maize, wheat etc.) cotton, roots and tubers (cassava, potatoes, yam, ginger etc.), tree crops (oil palm, cocoa, rubber etc.), legumes (soybean, sesame seed; cowpea etc.), tomato and livestock (fish, poultry, ruminants etc.), with the aim of stabilizing input supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payment on food.
“The House is informed that out of the N104,226,956,985.10 provided by the CBN for the Scheme, a total of N86,634, 165,880.59 was disbursed to the Anchor companies (who will serve as processors) and the sum of N81, 502,322,030.31 is yet to be recovered from the defaulting Anchor companies.
“The House is worried that with the non-recovery of the outstanding N81,502,822,030.31, other potential smallholder farmers (SHF) who would have been beneficiaries of the Scheme are being denied the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.
“The House is concerned that the non-recovery of the said balance of the loan from the Anchor companies is negatively affecting the overall objective of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, being a revolving Fund,” Hon. Ogun noted.
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Banking and Currency to investigative the allegation and the role played by Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and other relevant bodies involved in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.