By Our Reporter
Protesters have stormed the Abuja office of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System For Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) over alleged diversion of farmers’ fund.
Some individuals have been staging protest outside NIRSAL’s offices in Abuja by carrying placards with the inscription ’ANCHOR BORROWERS IS PROGRAM IS A LIE, CBN NIRSAL IS DIVERTING FARMERS MONEY’.
Reacting to the development, NIRSAL’s Head of Corporate Communications, Anne Ihugba described the protest as sponsored protest and a failed attempt to distort the facts about verified contributions of NIRSAL such as over N100 billion facilitated from the financial sector into the agricultural sector which is improving the lives of farmers across the country.
She added: “Though NIRSAL found the inauspicious visit as an opportunity to engage and enlighten more young people on its agribusiness initiatives and the promise they hold, the protest smacked of witch-hunting and a well-crafted agenda to smear the organization. Questioned individually, the boys admitted to belonging to no ABP tickets and were in fact recruited from Abuja and environs, particularly from areas such as Mararaba, Mabushi and Jabi. This negates the claim that they are farmers from Kebbi State.
“To be absolutely clear, all successful ABP applications for the 2019 farming seasons have been honoured by NIRSAL. As required by the guidelines issued by the Central Bank, farmers with incomplete loan documentations are prevented from accessing the funds in their accounts until they meet the obligations.”
She said the attempt was bound to fail because “facts do not lie” and the effort to discredit the institution by persons who do not mean well for the sector and the country was bound to fail
Their submission that NIRSAL and the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme of “diverting farmers money” and “killing farmers” – a totally baseless claim.