The House of Representatives Thursday mandated its Committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Banking and Currency to investigative the non-recovery of N81, 502,822,030.31 from defaulting Anchor Companies under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
The Committees are also authorized to investigate the role of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and other relevant bodies involved in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ASP) and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
These resolutions were reached at plenary sequel to the adoption of a motion:”Need to Investigate the Usage of Funds Disbursed by the Bank of Agriculture to Anchor Companies under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) sponsored by Sergius Ose-Ogun (PDP, Edo).
Presenting the motion, Ose-Ogun said the House is aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its mandate, established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on 17 November 2015, with the intent to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in processing and the Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) of key agricultural commodities.
According to him, the House is also aware that the thrust of the ABP is the provision of loans to small holder 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.
He said 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.
“Worried that with the non-recovery of the outstanding N81,502,822,030.31, other potential small holder farmers (SHF) who would have been beneficiaries of the Scheme are being denied the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.
“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 Funds”.
James Kwen, Abuja