• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

All applications for 2019 Anchor Borrower Programme processed, NIRSAL clarifies

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), has clarified that all successful applications under its Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) for 2019 farming season have been honoured and that only farmers with incomplete loan documentation were prevented from accessing the funds until they meet the stipulated guidelines.

The clarification was in reaction to a protest staged outside NIRSAL’s Head office in Abuja where protesters who carried placards with different inscriptions accused the Agency and the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme of “diverting farmers’ money” and “killing farmers”.

Reacting to the incident, NIRSAL’s Head of Corporate Communications, Anne Ihugba in a statement on Wednesday said, “To be absolutely clear, all successful ABP applications for the 2019 farming seasons have been honoured by NIRSAL.

“As required by the guidelines issued by the Central Bank, farmers with incomplete loan documentations are prevented from accessing the funds in their accounts until they meet the obligations.”

Ihugba described the protest as a failed attempt to distort the facts about verified contributions of NIRSAL such as over N100 billion facilitated from the financial sector into the agricultural sector which she said is improving the lives of farmers across the country.

Apart from growing its balance sheet to N100billion, NIRSAL has facilitated over N102BN loans from commercial lenders across the various Agricultural Value Chains in Nigeria, creating over 40,000 jobs, according to figures seen by BusinessDay.

“Though NIRSAL found the inauspicious visit as an opportunity to engage and enlighten more young people on its agribusiness initiatives and the promise they hold, the protest smacked of witch-hunting and a well-crafted agenda to smear the organization”, she said.

The head further stated that the protest was only sponsored by corrupt interest, explaining that the claim of the protesters was baseless.

According to her, the protesters, on interrogation admitted to belonging to no ABP tickets and were in fact recruited from Abuja and environs, particularly from areas such as Mararaba, Mabushi and Jabi to picket the company.

“This negates the claim that they are farmers from Kebbi State,” Ihugba said.

Ihugba disclosed that they also admitted that they have no information about NIRSAL’s operations, the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Central Bank.

“According to them, they were at NIRSAL to do a job they were paid for by their sponsor(s) who got them a police permit,” she said.

Ihugba noted that the attempt was bound to fail because “facts do not lie” and the effort to discredit the institution by persons who do not mean well for the sector and the country was bound to fail.

 

Godsgift Onyedinefu