The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, resolved to probe the disbursement of N275 billion agricultural loans/ credit facilities to farmers between 2009 to date.
Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency and Agricultural Services to undertake the investigation and report back to it for further legislative actions.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Chike Okafor, on the need to investigate the credit facilities to farmers so as to enhance food security in the country.
Okafor, in his motion, informed the House that between 2009 to date, the Federal Government has approved over
N275 billion as credit facilities to farmers under different schemes.
The lawmaker noted that the schemes ranged from “from Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) to Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), to help farmers improve agricultural production and guarantee food security” in the country.
According to him, the schemes were expected to give agricultural loans to large and small scale farmers, so as “to lower the prices of agricultural produce, generate employment and increase foreign exchange earnings.”
Regardless, Okafor stated that ” most farmers have not been able to access the loans due to stringent requirements being demanded by banks from prospective borrowers.”
He added that ” food production has not attained the expected level despite the approval of over N 275 Billion facilities to farmers.
“The projected diversification of the economy from oil production to agricultural production and increase in agricultural output, food supply and promoting low food inflation will not be achieved if farmers are unable to access loans meant to increase agricultural production.”