The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved compensation for over 550,000 rice farmers affected by the 2018 flood disaster.
RIFAN National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, on Tuesday in Abuja, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had directed that the loan should be restructured for a period of four years.
Goronyo said, “Instead of paying the loan in three installments within a year, the loan will be restructured to be paid in installments within four years,” adding that only the affected farmers under the RIFAN/CBN/ABP model programme would benefit from the compensation.
He further said the resolution was the outcome of a meeting with the Director, Developing Finances of CBN and RIFAN executives.
Goronyo said RIFAN only championed the case of affected farmers under its care, but expressed the hope that all the registered farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) that were affected would benefit from it, and that the CBN also directed that a fresh loans should be given to the affected farmers so that they could go back to the field and recover their losses.
“RIFAN is working with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the presidency and the CBN to compensate the victims as promised by President Mohammadu Buhari.
“RIFAN is also seeking assistance from the CBN to restructure the loans to alleviate the suffering of the affected farmers and make them go back to the field,’’ he said.
He further said another meeting on adequate compensation to the affected farmers in under the RIFAN/ CBN/ABP model programme Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) indicated that succour was on the way for farmers negatively impacted by the excessive rains of 2018.
NAN recalls that the flood destroyed over 100,000 hectares of rice farms in Jigawa, and affected 19,000 rice farmers across the 23 local government areas of the state.
Also, Sokoto State said it lost an estimated 61,197 tonnes of rice valued at N27.5bn because of the flood.
Also, the Adamawa State chapter of RIFAN said over 5,000 of its members were affected by the flood.