The Chairman and president of the Fittop Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Mr Olufemi Popoola, has stated that the various federal government purported grants for farmers never get to them.
He said the grants are being hijacked by middlemen instead of giving it to real farmers they are given to their relatives.
Mr Popoola stated this on Saturday in Abuja during the 3rd annual general meeting of the cooperative.
He said, “The government has been talking of loan for farmers, but I can tell you, we are not getting it. Those people they said are getting it, where are they? We are not talking about the N100,000 loan by the Bank of Agriculture, but something that cooperative members can use to developed businesses.
” All those millions they said are paid to Fadama farmers or collected through Anchor Borrowers, where are they getting it. We have applied but don’t get any. We do all that we need to do, we have our record, we have our financial report, and our audit report from our regulator are always ready,” he said
He called on the government to ensure that these loans and grants gets to farmers as these will also increase job creation, thereby reducing unemployment and enhance the economic.
He said, “Even if there is no grant, the government should give farmers a single digit loan, farmers will blandly pay back, especially those who are really into business. Some of these farmers, only need the loans once in their live time and their live will change forever, if this money is available to the real farmers, not a group of middle men collecting the money, sharing the money to their relatives in the name of giving it to farmers. Let this money be given to the cooperatives directly after thorough investigation and then monitor them.”
Mr Popoola welcoming the members said the cooperative in the last 12 financial months has labourer despite the economy challenges to ensure safety of the member’s fund and good operational performance. This according to him is evidence in the progress made so far within a year.
He said the Cooperative has achieved over 11.6% increase in Gross Earning, 169.6% increase in total asset and 1.06% divided declaration.
“We have empowered more members through loan facilities at the lowest interest rate of 8% and we hope to do more. The challenge of members not paying up their loan as at when due also affected the calculation of our dividend.
“In the new year, we shall focus on investment areas that will increase the value of our Cooperative and increase the worth of all members. Our areas of attention in business investment this year shall be agriculture, investment in mutual funds, empowerment through loan facilities and other finance aided programme for members,” he said
He said the Cooperative is ready to finance farmers among members by way of granting loan facilities within a stipulated period of time and at a lower interest rate.