The investment cooperatives Hope Concept and the credit union denied the assertion of the Nigerian Agricultural Credit Risk Distribution System (NIRSAL Plc) that its members were unskilled farmers who did not have either farmland or compliance with standard requirements.
The Union of Farmers' Cooperatives exposed these claims, while journalists around agricultural land in Odeda local government, Abeokuta, on Friday.
Mr. Akin Agbula, the president of the cooperative, said: "After the press conference, NIRSAL said that we are not qualified farmers, that we do not have farms and things that must give us credit."
confirmed that about 1,000 hectares of land are being prepared.
The co-operative said that he had mobilized resources for training, but NIRSAL postpones the loan provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Mr. Agbula said: "The land that we were able to clear is" tractor-driven. "
Now the land that we cleared is more than 1000 hectares, and we sent pictures and all that to Nirsal. "
Mr. Agbula reported that OIR manager NIRSAL called him leading reporters on the farm and asked him to send again photos of our planter, sprayers for brushes, equipment and other photos of agricultural machinery.
"Meanwhile, we should not receive all this equipment, because the money that they will release for us is what we need to hire all the equipment," he said.
Mr. Agbula said: "The first thing CBN required of us was that we must have at least 250 farmers.
Then, there must be some agricultural land that could be mechanized, that we are already, as you can see.
Another requirement is that members must have a 5% stake. We met all the conditions. "
It was found out that after checking all the requirements, NIRSAL CBN approved the loan and paid NIRSAL on July 19, 2018 for subsequent payment to members of the cooperative, but so far the fund has not been released to farmers.
The HCCU president admitted that "now all we are asking CBN and the government to do is to win at NIRSAL in order to release us money."
The agreement was signed within the framework of the "Borrower's Bounded Program" (ABP) project, and there is an anchor (off-shore), which is Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN).
Agbula added that "because of the planting season, we outstripped them and spent millions of Naira from the cooperative's account to get some of the land cleared in anticipation that NIRSAL will pay us.
We spent about £ 18 million, and we began to clean the land from June. "
Another requirement was that we have to pay a 5% stake in the participation fund, which is about N16 million.
They removed all the money from our account, which, they said, at the end of the day, they will clear everyone.
Now about 120 people who have not received any payments from NIRSAL, and yet they have removed our money.
Expressing disappointment, Agbula said: "So, we have fulfilled all the requirements of CBN and NIRSAL in this contract.
Interest is already accrued on the loan, but NIRSAL still holds it, "Agbula complained.
"We had about four meetings, and one of them – the Town Hall meeting.
We made a project management team (AMT), where we agreed on the cost of production with NIRSAL, CNB, Flour Mills and Hope Consult.
"As of yesterday, Flour Mills told me that they are confident that they are going with this program with us. I asked them why.
They said that NIRSAL reduced the price of all materials that three of us agreed on the cost of production.
"NIRSAL also called me that they contribute to us, and I asked them where?
I said that the agreement states that Flour Mills will provide us with the original data.
If you take input from Flour Mills Nigeria, who will provide them?
Will they supply us with quality materials? Because of this, Flour Mills Nigeria states that they will no longer take away from us. "