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Shaky agreement threatens CBN’s loan recovery from cotton farmers

The recovery exercise of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after the inclusion of cotton production into its agricultural intervention programme of Anchor Borrower, with a view to reviving textile industries in the country is beginning to witness some setbacks, Daily Trust reports.

It would be recalled that the CBN, through its Branch Controller, Ali Abdulkadir, had asked members of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Kano chapter,that participated in the government’s Programme to refund the loans.

Abdulkadir had said that the 30,000 cotton farmers, who enjoyed the loan facility, should not delay in repayment, so as to enable other farmers to benefit from the scheme, adding that each of the cotton farmers got N174, 000 (inputs and cash), as total loan package amounted to N5.2 billion.

Daily Trust also reports that to repay the government, each farmer is expected to give 25 bags of 40Kg, which is an equivalent of the amount received as loan back.

The CBN official had said, “It is a revolving fund as you collect, you produce, you sell and then pay the loan so that others that have not benefited can also benefit. I am advising the leadership of the association to embark on an aggressive recovery because the loan was given to farmers through the association because the association knows them.”

But farmers in the North West and North East states of the country – Katsina, Zamfara, Bauchi and others, who are beneficiaries of the loan disclosed that the existence of some loopholes needed to be addressed by the Federal Government if it wants to sustain the cotton anchor borrower‘s programme.

Cotton farmers told our correspondent that they received nothing on their first submission which was agreed on that every farmer would receive at least, 50% payment of his first cotton submission to the recovery centres which is expected to ease his subsequent submission – the development that led many farmers to avoid the recovery centres.

A cotton farmer, Mallam Bala Gogori, stated that, “There is need for authorities concerned to look into the cotton Anchor Borrower’s Programme and rectify the identified loopholes as a measure to sustain the programme and enable the federal government to achieve its aim of national food sustainability.”

Another farmer, who did not want his in print, said “We know the federal government has a very good intention in its efforts to revive the agricultural sector. We were expecting to get some form of payment on our first submission. Our assumption was that the payment we will get is what we will use to finance the subsequent production of our cotton, but we received nothing on the first submission and many of the cotton farmers decided to take their cotton to the market, this is what is currently slowing the recovery in this state.”

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