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ABP: Kebbi youth farmers protest high interests on agric loans

Contrary to federal government’s claims through the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), that the terms and conditions attached to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) loan scheme are flexible and seamless, aggrieved youth farmers in Kebbi State, on Thursday, staged a peaceful protest across major streets in the state capital, to express their dismay over alleged irregularities and high rate of interests given to them under the scheme.

The beneficiary farmers went round major roads such as Ahmadu Bello way and marched to the Government House where they had audience with Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.

In his remarks, leader of the farmers, Mallam Mamuda Abubukar, said the procedure on the issuance of loans scheme offered to Kebbi farmers under the Anchor Borrowers in the state is cumbersome and confusing.

According to him, despite the fact that they went through all due processes laid down to get the loans, some of their members’ accounts were credited while others were not.

Besides, their members whose accounts were credited were charged high interest rates on the loan they were yet to utilise, while others who did not receive credit alerts got the same treatment.

He pointedly noted that the high interest charges were never communicated them to them ab-initio, stressing that it looks embarrassing “giving us loan with one hand and taking over everything with the other”.

However, Governor Bagudu, while addressing the farmers, expressed his happiness for coming to the Government House to express their grievances and assured them that government will handle the matter in the interest of growing youths’ interest in agriculture.

In his response, the Acting Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Lawal Shehu  Argungu, explained to the youths farmers that the non-payment of the previous loan to farmers was behind the present crop of farmers in the state.