THE EDUCATOR - July 12 2019

How Boko Haram, Herdsmen Sabotage CBN Agric Billions

The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and Bank Of Agriculture(BOA) agricultural loans that currently run into billions may not be paid back given the l activities of Fulani herdsmen, bandit and Boko Haram nationwide which endangers the lives of thousands of farmers some of who has fled home IN FEAR FOR THEIR LIVES.

A CBN report recently disclosed that commercial agricultural farmers are yet to repay N267.5bn loans under its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme out of the disbursed amount of N605.9bn for 586 projects.”

In the report it blamed the drier weather condition for the situation but shied away from the up-rooting of farmers from their home lands nationally. No wonder it approved another disbursement of about N75billion as loan to farmers in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory under the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing in Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)

The Head of NIRSAL Project Implementation Office under the Development Finance Department of the CBN, Jude Uzonwanne, who spoke on the role of NIRSAL in Abuja, told the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Akinjide, that the guarantee would be issued to farmers through commercial banks and other financial institutions.

“NIRSAL would mobilize financing for Nigerian agribusiness by using credit guarantees to address the risk of default,” Mr. Uzonwanne said. But the truth is that a lot of the farmers in the nation’s food basket of Benue,Taraba,Nasarawa and Plateau states have fled from violence arising from the activities of Boko Haram,Bandits and herdsmen

Speaking on the issue of loses to the herders and farmers clashes former Military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, says Nigeria loses not less than $13.7bn(over 4 trillion) annually as a result of farmers and herdsmen’s conflicts in Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Plateau states.

The Educator reported that Abubakar said this at a forum organised by the Search for Common Ground, Nigeria, in collaboration with the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development.

FG on its part said Nigeria loses about$14billion (N5.04 trillion) annually to the frequent conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country. Key officials of the government stated this June when they held a media briefing on Nigeria’s National Livestock Transformation Plan, Technical adviser to the National Economic Council (NEC), Andrew Kwasari, unveiled the plan on behalf of the government.

According to him “Nomadic livestock production in Nigeria is facing major crises and is at a crossroads due to declining availability of pasture, overgrazing, and most importantly, the recurrent and expanding fatal conflicts between pastoralists and crop farmers.

“The impacts on food and nutrition security, as well as public safety and national security, are huge and far-reaching. “This includes destruction of schools, homes, religious houses, primary health centres and community infrastructure, as well as tens of thousands of internally displaced persons.