Economic Sabotage:How Fulani Herdsmen Threatens CBN Agric Billions

The Central Bank of Nigeria agricultural loans that currently run into billions may not be paid back given the evil activities of Fulani herdsmen across the country.

This march a CBN report posited that the government banker expects commercial agricultural farmers to repay N267.5bn loans under its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.According to it:“As of March 20, 2019, the total amount released since inception by the CBN under the CACS to the participating banks for disbursement, amounted to N605.9bn for 586 projects,even as amount repaid stood at N338.4bn.”

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 (CBN) approved another disbursement of about N75billion as loan to farmers in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing in Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)this year

The loan guarantee scheme is a public-private sector initiative set up to transform the country’s agricultural sector. It was initiated by the apex bank, the Bankers’ Committee and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, to guarantee 75 per cent loans provided by Deposit Money Banks (DPB) to farmers as part of efforts to transform the country’s agricultural sector.

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 alot of the farmers in the nations food basket of Benue,Taraba,Nasarawa and Plateau states have fled from violence arising from the activities of Buku Haram,Bandits or 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 News Agency of Nigeria 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.

Abubakar said 62,000 people were displaced in Kaduna, Benue and Plateau states between January, 2015 and February  2017, in farmers and herdsmen’s conflicts while 2,500 people died nationwide as a result.

The federal government has said that 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.

However,what no body in government have disclosed is how much of the agric loans given to our farmers and cow breeders would never be paid back as a result of the ranging war.