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NIRSAL Fraud: Farmers, Stakeholders Groan As CBN Suspends Anchor Borrowers Loans




(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Farmers and other stakeholders have cried out over the negative economic impact that will hit the Nigeria’s economy following the suspension of the Anchor Borrowers Loans scheme mismanaged by the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

African Examiner reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had recently suspended all loans disbursed by NIRSAL, following widespread allegations of frauds and corruption by its officials.

The CBN’s suspension of further disbursement of loans by NIRSAL to farmers was contained in a correspondence of March 10, following the Feb. 24 meeting where the decision to suspend further loan disbursements was reached.

The memo said the decision would only be reversed after all outstanding loans disbursed to farmers through NIRSAL were paid.

In his reaction to the suspension, the leadership of the All-Farmer Association of Nigeria, headed by Architect Kabiru Ibrahim said:

 “We urge the CBN to do due diligence in prequalifying farmers who participate in the programme because several cases of briefcase farmers who pose as real farmers abound. These collude with some NIRSAL officials to defraud the programme.

“Timely repayment which is not forthcoming in the ABP is largely due to this fraud. Anyone who gives bribe to take a loan with an interest component has no desire to repay it.

“Our initial understanding of the role of NIRSAL was to primarily incentivize commercial banks to embrace lending for agricultural production but certainly not to prequalify prospective loan seeking companies. This is how corruption took over and the farmers are now the worse for it.



Also, Dr Femi Oke, AFAN chairman, South-west Zone, urged the CBN to investigate the allegations against NIRSAL without undermining the various efforts of farmers toward achieving food security and self-sufficiency in the country.

He said many farmers were disappointed by the sudden suspension of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and NIRSAL loans, as they provided a lot of support to smallholder farmers.

Recently, the management of NIRSAL has been under probe over allegation of many mismanagement of loans to farmers and other economic relief programs.

Recall also that over 800,000 applicants have complained that they were not able to access the N150 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) stimulus package announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in March 2020 to help reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and businesses and to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been affected by the COVID19 pandemic. NIRSAL was mandated to disburse the TCF funds, in which again it failed to handle effectively.

It was also reported that the Management of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Ltd (NMBL) allegedly diverted over 1 billion naira into a personal account of one of its management staff, an allegation and many others that compelled the house of representatives to probe the activities of the organization.

In view of this many alleged loan frauds and mismanagement of government economic schemes, many Nigerians on social media have called on Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) to probe the NIRSAL management with a view to punishing those responsible for fraudulent activities in the organization.

Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed


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