Anchor-Borrowers’ Scheme: Kano farmers owe CBN N944 million

From the total sum of N950m loan released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Kano State Rice farmers, under the Anchor-Borrowers Scheme, only N6m was paid back till date.

The development has not only posed serious threat to future disbursement, as there is likelihood of the bank blacklisting the state, it has also created fears that majority of the farmers might not refund the loan.

State Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Faruk Rabi’u Musa, disclosed that out of 5, 540 rice and wheat farmers that secured the loans, not up to 50 of them paid back.

Managing Director of the state Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), Professor Mahmoud Daneji, said a Product Monitoring Team (PMT) has been set up for recovery of the loans.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Daneji revealed that the 9-man PMT Recovery Committee chaired by him, has representatives from the CBN, Bank of Agriculture and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).

He said defaulting farmers have December deadline to refund the loans, stressing that “there is no concrete reason why they are failing to pay. Claiming that the loan was given when it was too late was nothing more than a flimsy excuse.”

But AFAN chairman, Musa, who is also state Chairman of Wheat Farmers Association, said the development forced them to set up a Task Force to see to the loan recovery.

“Our fear is that when farmers refuse to service their loans, the repercussions will not be on the defaulting rice farmers alone, other potential beneficiaries of similar loans will definitely be affected, like wheat farmers, tomato growers and the like. So we must stand up and see to the end of this unhealthy development,” he said.

“I am afraid if the CBN will again consider our farmers for any Agric loan in future, if the money is not recovered,” he stated.