From Umar Dankano,Yola.
The nonpayment of the agricultural inputs supplied to Adamawa state Anchor Borrowers’Programme for 2016/2017 dry season is generating serious apprehension and suspicion of being fraudulently short changed among the contractors.
Investigation by Peoples Daily in Yola revealed 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 & Accessories worth billions of naira for farmers in the state.
An impeccable source who pleaded anonymity confirmed to our reporter that the contractors supplied those agricultural inputs worth N265,767,768.00 since January 2017 which have been distributed to farmers for the production of rice farming but wondering the delay in payments.
“As a matter of fact all of us, the suppliers have since January this year finished our contractual obligations but our money is still hanging with the Bank of Agriculture and Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN rendering us incapacitated in our businesses, “ the sourced fumed.
A confirmation to these allegations was contained in a letter sited by our reporter, written and signed by the Head Development Finance (DFO)Central Bank Yola to the Managing Director,Bank of Agriculture Kaduna via The Bauchi Zonal Manager captioned ; Re : NON PAYMENT OF INPUT SUPPLIIERS BY BANK OF AGRICULTURE,dated September 11,2017 directing immediate payment to the contractors.
The letter reads “Please recall that,CBN paid a sum of N265,767,768.00 to your account on 10th August,2017 being payment for first & second tranches to 1,278 rice farmers under the Adamawa state ABP , however , We observed with regret that up to the time of writing this memo the suppliers are yet to be paid for the inputs they supplied since January,2017.
“The delay in payment has aggravated the supplier’s inability to maintain regular supply chain of inputs for other beneficiaries thus causing a threat to the sustainability of the programme.
“We kindly solicit for your immediate action to address the anomaly.
“Attached is the list of the inputs suppliers namely ; Spring Field,Premier Seeds,B.M Yelwa,KEPIN Fertile Acres and Himad Ventures for your necessary action,” the letter directed.
Confirming the quagmire, chairman, Programme Management Team,PMT (Adamawa state Anchor Borrowers’Programme,ABP ) Dr. Umar Buba Bindir expressed disappointment over the manner with which the monies were handled, lamenting that it affected the performance of the scheme.
Bindir who doubles as the secretary to the state government accused the Bank of Agriculture of sabotaging the efforts of Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla’s administration in revitalising the agricultural sector as advised by the Federal Government accordingly.
He decried that the delay in paying those inputs suppliers is negating the success of the program.
Approached for reactions on the allegation, representatives of Bank of Agriculture,Mrs Mary Baba and Mr.Tony Akande of Central Bank of Nigeria, after a crucial stakeholders meeting at conference Hall Government House Yola on Thursday, the duo declined comments insisting they have no clearance to talk to press.