Reps query BOA over N91bn agaric borrowers’ scheme

The of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, has commenced investigation into the Agricultural Borrowers Programme, demanding details from the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) on how about N91 billion reported to have been disbursed was applied.

Information made available to the committee suggested that since the commencement of the programme in November 2015, the said amount has been disbursed as at October 31, 2021, to beneficiaries under different models of the programme.

The programme was designed to create economic linkages between smallholder farmers and processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and ensuring food price stability

Managing Director, MD of the BOA, Kabir Mohammed Adamu, who appeared before the committee on Wednesday, said the programme had created 424,820 direct jobs, and indirect jobs of 2,124,100 to farming families across the country.

According to the MD, a total sum of N14,678,423,065.03 was repaid leaving an outstanding balance of N77,179,823,985.20 pending as at October 2021.

Not satisfied with the explanations, the committee demanded for relevant documents on details of the disbursement which the BOA boss  could not immediately produced, necessitating a motion by Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante for the hearing to be stepped down to enable the MD furnish the committee with the relevant documents as requested.

Chairman of the committee, Mukhtari Dandutse, subsequently ruled in favour of the motion, saying the House was concerned about government’s efforts to improve on agriculture hence the probe.