The House of Representatives has summoned the Management of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to appear before it to clear issues on the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP).
BOA is also asked to appear before the House Committee alongside all the farmers who took loans from the bank under the Anchor Borrower Programme.
The House Committee on Agriculture issued the summon in Kaduna on Friday when it paid an oversight visit to the headquarters of the Bank in Kaduna.
Members of the committee during the visit expressed dismay that, beneficiaries of the Anchor Borrower Programme have complained bitterly to the committee about BOA’ s handling of the ABP fund, saying that, there are about 30 petitions on the Committee’s table against BOA.
A member of the Committee and member of the House of Representatives representing Bama/Ngala/Kalabalge constituency from Borno State, Dr. Zainab Gimba raised concern that farmers from the North-East like Dili-Biu, Daru Farm, Gorea Farm, Shiltam Farm and Dr. Mohammed Dogo, were not happy with the BOA.
She pointed out that, the farmers have complained to her office and the Committee that, they were finding it difficult to access loan under ABP from BOA.
Hon. Zainab Gimba who lamented that, the BOA seems to be frustrating the Federal Government’s efforts towards resettling the people of North-East affected by the insurgency, through Agriculture, said the Bank needs to go back to its core mandate.
Responding, the Managing Director of BOA, Kabir Adamu stated that it is a total lie to say that, the bank has not been releasing fund to the farmers in the North-East, saying that, many of the farmers have taken loan in billions of Naira under the Anchor Borrower Programme without paying back.
According to him, “we are collaborating with the National Refuge Commission to help resettle those that have been displaced through Agriculture. Last year, we made donation of rice, blanket and other materials to support those people. We have also signed an MoU with North East Development Commission and agreed on key areas of mechanisation, production and so on, to see how we can support them”
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Muntari Dandutse however said the bank should appear before it along with all its debtors, as well as those who have applied for loans and did not get it.