Nigeria: Gombe Agric Ministry Denies Alleged Fraud Over CBN Loan

BY AUWAL Mohammed,
Gombe (Nigeria) — Commissioner for Agriculture in Gombe State, northeast Nigeria, Dahiru Buba Biri, has debunked the allegation by All lower Farmers Association that officials of the ministry are extorting money from farmers applying for the Anchor Borrowers scheme initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
 
speaking with journalists in Gombe on Thursday, Mr. Biri said his ministry never demanded for any money for registration, consultancy or surveying from any farmer.
 
He also denied claims by the Association that officials of the ministry have conspired with officials from the Bank of Agriculture to short-change farmers in the state.
 
Mr. Biri who doubles as chairman of the Project Monitoring Team handling the Anchor Borrowers project, explained that the alleged discrepancies in dues and prices of commodities were meant for distribution to farmers.
 
ALFA alleged that the ministry had asked members of the association to pay N20, 000 as consultation fee, and another N20, 000 paid to the surveying officer, among other sundry charges.
 
The Commissioner, while denying that ALFA represented by Sani Idris, was not even registered to benefit from the scheme, called on anyone with evidence of payment with respect to the mentioned charges to come forth, stressing that the state government has paid for mapping and data capturing.
 
He also dismissed claims that the farmers were being shortchanged in the total sum of money to be disbursed. 
 
“Concerning N300,000 the agreed economic cost of production for dry season was N244, 245 per HA while that of raining season is N185, 640 per HA.” he said.
 
“There is no market in Nigeria where N50kg of rice cost N1, 000. Presently in Gombe the price of paddy rice for consumption is N7, 000 per N50kg. The total cost of certified seed which is used for planting is N400 per kilo equalling N20, 000 per 50kg,” he said.
 
Contrary to the claim by one Sani Idris whose organisation recently petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), urging the graft agency to wade into the matter to save members of the All Farmers Association, the commissioner all decisions regarding the scheme were taken by the PMT comprising of the ministry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Agriculture, Gombe State Agricultural Development Programme and farmers’ association among others.
 
In their petition to the EFCC, the farmers have alleged that instead of the N300, 000 promised them, “the bank said they would give us N110, 640 in farm inputs and N75, 000 cash.”
Posted by on 10/08/2017. Filed under Agriculture, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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