The federal government under its rice production programme released about 3,384 loans to farmers in Taraba state, Mallam Tanko Bobbo Andami, who disclosed this said some are on the run.
The acting chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Taraba, Mallam Tanko Bobbo Andami, has disclosed that 3,383 farmers collected N364 million loan for rice farming in the state have defaulted the payment.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Andami said they collected the loan for wet and dry farming in 2018 and 2019 but none of them refunds any amount while many of them are on the run.
The newspaper reports further claimed that the federal government under its rice production programme release the loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 3,383 farmers in the state through various multi-purpose co-operative societies.
It was learned that the loan beneficiaries were from Lau, Gassol, Wukari, Karim-Lamido, Ardo-Kila, and Jalingo local government areas of the state who were registered under 185 multi-purpose co-operative societies.
Andami said under the agreement of the loan, each beneficiary is supposed to repay the loan with paddy rice and money immediately after harvest. The chairman said,
however “even a bag of paddy rice or single Kobo was not repaid by the entire 3,383 beneficiaries.
” He stated that the water pumps, seeds, weed chemicals, fertilizers, and cash were given to the rice farmers as loans under the programme, but all of them have defaulted.
“The federal government through the law enforcement agencies will soon go after the defaulting farmers and records of each beneficiary is available with Issuing Banks and therefore no farmer will go free.”