How CBN failed in the implementation of Anchor Borrowers programme —AFAN President
THE President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arc Kabir Ibrahim has noted some irregularities in the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP).
Ibrahim in an opinion made available to journalists, said the APP (Agriculture Promotion Policy), the CBN Intervention through the Anchor Borrower Program and now NATIP(National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy)if properly implemented could have led to the attainment of Food Security in Nigeria.
He said the Buhari Administration put Agriculture on the front banner by enacting the above policies but failed to put the right people to drive them leading to a colossal waste of direly needed resources.
He said after the launch of ABP in 2015, its implementation encountered many teething problems sprouting from the CBN’S decision to reach the farmers through individual commodity associations without involving the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the State Ministries of Agriculture and AFAN.
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“The CBN developed Prime Anchors with a view to creating a veritable but clearly irrational vehicle to fast track value chain development but ended up shortchanging the food system by inadvertently creating a siphon to misapply resources.
“The Prime Anchors had a lot of resources but did not know how to incentivize the farmers and make them sustainably productive.
“Instead of advancing soft loans to the farmers in kind to produce optimally and off taking the produce at a guaranteed minimum price as envisioned in the scheme they resorted to buying from the open market thereby creating unnecessary food inflation.
“The CBN intervention may be responsible for the perennial food inflation in the nation as shown in the Rice and Maize Anchor Borrower Program and prices of agrochemicals generally.
“It can be seen that the so-called Prime Anchors have devised a method of laundering the enormous resources in their hands to import substandard inputs from China to give out as loans to our resource-poor farmers through stage managed fraudulent events aided by some unscrupulous senior public officers and fake farmer-leaders”, he said.
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He said the CBN intervention should be reappraised and all the billions of Naira given out as loans to Prime Anchors recalled.
The AFAN President recommended that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture be repositioned to work in synergy with the 36 states and FCT, the real farmers, all MDAs with cross cutting responsibilities as well as donor agencies and development partners.
“NFRA (National Food Reserve Agency) should be resuscitated, all the institutions such as NADF(National Agricultural Development Fund),National Agricultural Extension Policy(NEP),National Research Institutes and Technology Incubation Centres should be well established or reinvigorated to work optimally.
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“The NATIP (National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan)should be meticulously implemented with all the 36 States and FCT carried along in order to ensure success in our search for food security”, he added.
He also suggested that all appointments in the Agricultural sector should be made on merit and all those so appointed should be closely monitored, frequently evaluated and ultimately held accountable for there to be substantial progress in the realisation of the core deliverables.
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He called on the incoming Administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure value for money in all its investments in the Agriculture space by closely monitoring the implementation of all its programs, ensuring the attainment of set goals or milestones within fixed time-frames and ensuring transparency as well as probity