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NIRSAL denies holding on to farmers’ loans


Members of Hope Concept Corporative Union protesting non-payment of credit facilities paid by Central Bank of Nigerian to Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) for farmers in South West in Lagos…on Monday PHOTO; NAJEEM RAHEEM.

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) has denied holding on to farmers’ funds released to it by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (AB) of the government.

The risk covering agency said, “Some persons and groups who claim to be stakeholders or participants in various agricultural projects are currently orchestrating a vicious and well-funded campaign of disinformation and blackmail against NIRSAL.”

NIRSAL was apperently referring to Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN), which is the anchor and Hope Concept Investment Cooperative, who are parties to a loan agreement from the CBN for maize production to be off-taken by FMN. The Guardian has published that the members of the farming cooperative staged a peaceful protest on Monday against the delay of the facilities granted by the CBN through NIRSAL.

The farmers claimed that the CBN had paid the NIRSAL around N289 million on July 19, 2018. The payment notice, they asid, has been made available to them by the CBN.But NIRSAL, in a press release by its Head of Corporate Communications, Anne Ihugba, said: “Some of them have even gone as far as organising anti-NIRSAL protests and press conferences citing documents that were still undergoing processing and funds yet to be released by the CBN.”

NIRSAL added that some “aggregators” have fraudulently collected funds from farmers, promising to deliver loan facilities through the CBN ABP and other NIRSAL funding windows.”It said the “media campaign” was to intimidate the corporation into releasing funds to unqualified and unverified entities under the NIRSAL window of the CBN’s ABP.

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