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By Stephen Adeleye.
Doyin and Susan Foundation, an NGO, has facilitated loan of between N300,000 and N900,000 for 1,500 farmers in Kogi West Senatorial District under Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Chairperson, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the foundation, Mrs Adedoyin Ibikunle made this known during the verification of beneficiaries at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Lokoja on Friday.
Ibikunle said that the target beneficiaries under the Federal Government intervention programme were selected from the seven local government areas in Kogi west.
“The loan facility ranges from N300, 000 to N900, 000 per farmer depending on the number of hectares of farm land each farmer would cultivate.
“I have put in all my efforts and deployed my available resources in collaboration with CBN to ensure these 1,500 farmers access the loan this rainy season.
“My NGO will also stand as collateral for the beneficiaries, who must have fulfilled the CBN requirements in accessing the loan.
“The verification exercise today is for beneficiaries from Lokoja and Kogi/Kotonkarfe Local Government Areas, and subsequently for the remaining five LGAs in Kogi west next week,” Ibikunle said.
Ibikunle, who is eyeing Kogi west senatorial seat, said that her NGO had distributed relief items including food stuff worth N12 million to about 2,500 less privileged people in the zone.
She added that the foundation had also offered free medical treatment for the vulnerable in the area in April, in collaboration with its United States partners.
Some beneficiaries, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews, commended Mrs Ibikunle for the gesture, saying it was the first time they were enjoying such benefits in the history of the zone.
Mr Mohammed Nda, the loan coordinator in Lokoja, told NAN that the NGO had earlier distributed empowerment forms to the farmers which we filled and returned to her.
“Today, we are here at CBN office for verification; we thank her for facilitating the loan, which will enable farmers to improve on farming. We have 53 beneficiaries from Lokoja,” Nda said.
Abdulmumin Gata, Coordinator of Kotonkarfe LGA, told NAN that 150 farmers with 500 hectares of farm land would benefit from loan in Kotonkarfe.
“This initiative is for those who are real farmers and have at least one hectare of land and above.
“Farmers are facing lots of challenges in getting funds to buy fertilizer and other farm inputs and tools which are very difficult without access to loan.
“We thank our senator to be, Mrs Ibikunle for facilitating the loan for real farmers, so that we can have something doing in terms food production,” Gata said.
A farmer in Kotonkarfe, Seidu Dauda, said: “We don’t know how to thank this woman enough because in my life and community we have never witnessed this kind of gesture before.”
On her part, Kadiri Abibat, a woman farmer, said: “We thank her very much and we will use the money very well, and we are assuring her of our votes.”
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