Abuja: Hon. Chike John Okafor, member representing Okigwe South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, has called for an urgent Need to Investigate Disbursements of all Agricultural Loans/Credit Facilities to Farmers from 2009 to date, in order to Enhance National Food Security.
He made this call, on the floor of the House during the plenary on Wednesday 9th June, 2021, through a motion he sponsored. Below are details of the motion.
Hon. Chike John Okafor:
Notes that between 2009 to date, the Federal Government has approved the disbursement of funds to farmers in various Schemes to the tune of over N275 billion, ranging from Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) to Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), to help farmers improve agricultural production and guarantee food security in Nigeria;
Also notes that apart from increasing food supply, the Scheme is to grant agricultural loans to large and small scale commercial farmers to lower the prices of agricultural produce, generate employment and increase foreign exchange earnings;
Aware that since the approval, most farmers have not been able to access the loans due to stringent requirements being demanded by banks from prospective borrowers and the alleged siphoning of over N105 Billion meant for farmers by Management of NIRSAL;
Concerned that food production has not attained the expected level despite the approval of over N 275 Billion facilities to farmers;
Worried that the projected diversification of the economy from oil production to agricultural production and increase in agricultural output, food supply and promoting low food inflation will not be achieved if farmers are unable to access loans meant to increase agricultural production;
Mandate the Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate disbursements and compliance of all Agricultural Loans/Credit Facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance National Food Security in the country.