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Monday, July 15, 2024

House of Reps Initiates Investigation into N1.12 Trillion Anchor Borrowers’ Program

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House of Representatives Investigates Anchor Borrowers Scheme

The House of Representatives is looking into the N1.12 trillion Anchor Borrowers Scheme. This program, run by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is meant to provide funds for farmers.

They will also check other agencies like the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI), and more.

This decision was made after Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) spoke in Abuja on Tuesday. Okafor said that Nigeria’s food problems are happening because the money meant to help farmers is not being used right.

He pointed out that the government has spent N8 trillion over the past eight years to help make sure Nigerians have enough food to eat.

But Okafor said that poor management of these funds is making food hard to find and causing people to go hungry. He claimed money meant for farmers was used for other things, not agriculture, which is why there’s a food shortage.

The House has asked several committees to look into this. These committees are Nutrition and Food Security, Agricultural Production and Services, Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, and Finance. They will check how the Anchor Borrowers Program, which was supposed to give N1.12 trillion to 4.67 million farmers, was managed.

They will also look into how NIRSAL handled N215 billion for farming, how BoI gave out N3 billion to 22,120 small farmers, and how an N5 billion loan to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers was managed.

Additionally, they will investigate the National Agricultural Development’s N1.6 billion fund meant for solving the Ginger Blight disease issue. The committees have four weeks to report back with what they find.

Backstory

The Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) was started by the CBN in November 2015. It was supposed to help small farmers by building connections with bigger companies called Anchors. About 4.67 million farmers growing maize, rice, or wheat benefited from it. The program gave out around N1.12 trillion, with N670.4 billion paid back and N450.90 billion still not paid back.

  • The program has been stopped, and the CBN is trying to get back the remaining money. Some of the main groups that got money from this program include AFEX exchange, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Thrive Agric, Kebbi state government, and others.
  • NIRSAL is a financial institution owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It was set up to manage and share the risks related to giving credit to farmers and agribusinesses in Nigeria.


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