Kogi Farmers Urge Government to Release N750M Agric Loan

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Farmers in Kogi State have called on Governor Idris Wada to prevail on the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Zaccheus Atte, to release to them the N750 million loan secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost farming activities.

The farmers, under the aegis of Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria, recently, in Lokoja said the loan initiative, introduced in August, was yet to be released to farmers in the state by the commissioner who said he has to conduct another verification exercise before disbursement.

According to the spokesman of the farmers, Mr. Alhasan Abubakar, since introduction of the loans initiative by Governor Wada, the N750 million meant for farmers in the state got stalled at the office of the commissioner for agriculture.

“The commissioner initially said his inability to issue clearance for the distribution of the loan was due to hijacking of the forms by political farmers and he (Atte) must go round the local communities to ascertain the real farmers before the distribution.”

He said it is over two months now that the exercise has been concluded, yet, he has refused to commence distribution even with just a month remaining to the end of the year.

“We are shouting out now because the ministry has been circulating forms to people who are politicians and political associates of the commissioner. We are afraid that the money may either be given to this set of people or diverted in to private pockets of people in the ministry. If not, why has the commissioner refused to release the loan fund to farmers in the state, months after his verification exercise?”

The group urged the governor to ensure the distribution of the loan as soon as possible to enable farmers use it for dry season farming.


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