Officials of both Bank of Agriculture and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are battling to explain to Adamawa State Government the disappearance of over N265.7m meant for Anchor Borrowers programme in the state.
The apex bank and Bank of Agriculture, Yola branch; are being accused of diverting the money to commercial banks and fixing them in deposit accounts in order to harvest the interest, while farmers wait in pains to receive farming inputs that contractors refuse to supply for nonpayment.
The Guardian gathered that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme engaged the services of six Agro-Allied firms for the supply Agricultural inputs including; Urea fertiliser, Seeds, Agro-Chemicals, NPK Fertilizer and Water pumps and Accessories worth billions of naira for farmers in the state.
In a letter signed by the Head, Development Finance (DFO)Central Bank, Yola; addressed to the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Kaduna through the Bauchi Zonal Manager, the banks were directed to effect immediate payment to the contractors.
Titled: Re: Non Payment Of Input Suppliers By Bank of Agriculture and dated September 11, 2017, the letter regrets that up to the time of writing this memo the suppliers are yet to be paid for the inputs they supplied since January, 2017.
While Confirming the scandal, Chairman, Programme Management Team, (PMT, Adamawa State Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP), Dr. Umar Buba Bindir, expressed disappointment over the manner the monies were handled, lamenting that it affected the performance of the scheme.
When approached for comments Representatives of Bank of Agriculture, Mrs. Mary Baba and the Central Bank after a crucial stakeholders meeting last Thursday, said they have no official clearance to speak to press.
However, 24hours after the meeting, during which the state frowned at both CBN and Bank of Agriculture management, officials of the apex bank lead by Mr. Tunde Akande, visited the governor and apologised for the controversy surrounding the Anchor Borrowers funds.