Farmers who applied for the N1billion Agric loan being facilitated by the Abia State government have protested the delay in the disbursement of the loan.
The farmers lamented that despite fulfilling all the stipulated conditions, they are yet to be considered for the loan.
Mr. Emmanuel Uko who hails from Bende local government described the situation as worrisome. According to him,” I have fulfilled all the conditions for the loan, why is the government delaying the loans to farmers? Im afraid the process will be hijacked by politicians as usual. Let this not go the way of other loan programmes in Abia State,” He lamented.
Others who spoke to 247ureports.com alleged that the programme may been hijacked by the political class, adding that they are of aware of various lists being compiled across most local government by politicians.
247ureports.com gathered that the Abia State government through the state Ministry of Agriculture garnered over N10billion through the sale of forms for the loan which went for N1, 500 each.
It was also gathered that each farmer is required to pay N1, 100 which qualifies him to procure the loan form.
Sources revealed that the loan was sourced from through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, while its state counterpart was meant to act as a facilitator. The sources further lamented that the real farmers may not get the loan as the state government has hijacked it.
“Government has simply hijacked the programme. Don’t be deceived by the claims that it has been flagged off. It was just a smokescreen to deceive the poor farmers. Where are the nine local governments which are said to have benefitted from the loan? Let the Ministry of Agriculture publish their names. We know it won’t work. Could you believe that after the flag off, most farmers who bought the loan forms refused to see submit their forms describing it as a waste of money.People have lost confidence,” the source stated.
Responding to the ongoing reports about the loan, the Chief press secretary to Gov. Theodore Orji, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue said that the one billion naira loan secured by the state government for farmers which was flagged off by the Minister of Agriculture last month cannot be fake as farmers in the state have started benefitting from it.
According to Emezue, the state government is doing everything to ensure that those benefiting from the loan are real farmers in the state.
“Presently, the money is being released in phases with nine (9) local governments assessing the loan. The genuine farmers in the state who had applied for the loan will definitely benefit from it, all information concerning the release of the loan has been in the public domain since the exercise started,” he stated.
Mr, Emezue said that chief Theodore Orji who recently distributed free cocoa seedlings and other implements to Abia farmers, will not be distracted by those who do not wish Abia well, having lost out in the power equation.