Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
At least N5 billion has been recovered out of the N26.2 billion disbursed to 140,000 farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2015 to date.
The Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Mr. Kabir Mohammed Adamu, disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Sokoto yesterday.
He attributed the poor recovery rate of the bank to the inability of the beneficiaries to repay the loans.
Adamu maintained that it was an act of corruption for farmers to collect money meant for agriculture and divert it for other purpose.
He said it was in view of the need to tackle the ugly trend that the bank collaborated with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to recover the loans.
According to him, the Bank has also appointed recovery agents to go after the farmers and provided incentives to its staff to be able to recover the loans.
“In fact, in some states, we are collaborating with the state governments through the Mobile Courts Initiative to seek legal redress and then we are also taking some farmers to court.
“I am sure you are aware that the EFCC had already assisted us in recovering over N100 million from some farmers in Kaduna and Kebbi states?, “he said.
Adamu however, noted that some genuine farmers were owing and not able to repay the loans due to natural disaster such as flood.
He explained that the Bank had resolved to restructure the loans and re-classify them from bad debts to performing loans.
“There are some genuine farmers that are owing, but probably because of natural disasters like flooding, that has affected their ability to repay the loans. What we are doing in such instance is to restructure the loans so that we can reclassify them from bad debts to performing loans,” he added.
He noted that in some countries such as Morocco, recovery rate of agriculture loans is almost 90per cent.
Adamu said efforts were being made by the new management of the bank to recapitalise the institution, deploy information and communication facilities as well as automate the system to make it difficult for the bank to be deceived by fake farmers.
He disclosed that the bank was targeting 500,000 farmers for the dry and wet season farming this year.