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FG’s Anchor Borrowers Programme under threat, 5, 968 rice farmers bolt away with loan

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Indications have emerged showing that the well publicized possibility of Nigeria becoming a rice exporter before the end of the year may not be a reality after all.

This is based on the fact that about 5,968 rice farmers who collected different loans under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Bagudu Local Government Area of Kebbi State and other councils are now on the run.

Investigations show further that they were fleeing over the readiness of the government to apprehend loan defaulter.

Already, a recovery team, led by Deputy Governor of Kebbi State, Col. Samaila Yobai Dabai, along Magistrate Mukhtar Tafiriki had, yesterday visited Bagudu headquarters to compel the affected farmers repay their loans distributed to them for dry season rice farming in 2015.

The ABP, a rice farming encouragement scheme by the CBN was introduced to assist local rice farmers to increase their yield so as to guarantee rice production all the year round so that in the process productivity can rise to the extent of local sufficiency and possible exports.

Many of the officials of the Bagudu Council said the only factor that can compel the farmers to avoid being present at the meeting remains their inability to pay up their loans as and when due.

Business Hilights recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had flag off the loan distribution of N15 billion but the recovery team had just gathered about N500 million since it started to mount pressure on beneficiaries to pay up.

Statistics show further that in Bagudu Centre, 999 farmers benefited from the loan while in Zaggy Centre 1,364 farmers defaulted, 750 defaulted in Bahindi, 800 could not repay in Kaoje, while 1,000 in Illo and 1,020 defaulted in Lolo centres.

Giving more insights before newsmen on the character of the loan beneficiaries,

Expressing displeasure of the state government over the total default in the area, the deputy governor, Col. Samaila Yobai Dabai said “The level of responding was not encouraging”.

It was not clear whether beneficiaries of Lake Rice farmers are part of the farmers on the run.


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