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House Of Reps To Investigate ₦2 Trillion Spent By Buhari On Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme

The House of Representatives has vowed to investigate the alleged misappropriation of over ₦2 trillion disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria through its Anchor Borrowers Scheme, under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

The decision came after the adoption of a motion sponsored by Representative Chike Okafor, who expressed concerns about the escalating food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria, amidst alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds.

Speaking on Tuesday during plenary, Okafor, who is  representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency, Imo State, highlighted the importance of agricultural funds to ensure the sector’s development.

The motion was titled “Alleged mismanagement of government’s agricultural initiatives and funding by Departments, Agencies, and Government programmes outside the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.”

Okafor said, “The House notes that the Federal Government, through various schemes and interventions in the last eight years have spent over N2tn in funding agricultural interventions with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians, but due to the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programs, Nigeria is still experiencing food scarcity and malnutrition.

“The House is aware of the reports and allegations of abuse, mismanagement, and misapplication of government intervention funds earmarked for agricultural development and food security initiatives in Nigeria through the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the Anchor Borrowers Program disbursed about N1.12 trillion to 4.67 million farmers involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

“The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending disbursed N215.067bn to facilitate agriculture and agrobusinesses.

“The Bank of Industry disbursed N3bn to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing Programme. Additionally, the bank funded 49 agro and food processing businesses with N59.4 bn in loans.”

He explained that the Federal Government had in 2023, unveiled a ₦5bn loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture for livestock farmers across the country.

The House is also aware that funds advanced to end users of the Federal Government interventions were allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes, hence the current acute scarcity of food.

“The House is cognizant of the need to investigate government agricultural interventions and funding allocated to departments, agencies, schemes and programmes outside the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to ensure transparency, accountability, and effective resource utilisation,” he added.

The lawmakers subsequently directed the joint committees on Nutrition and Food Security, Agricultural Production and Services, Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, and Finance to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged misuse of government interventions and agricultural funding by federal departments, agencies, schemes, and programs outside the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The committees are tasked with submitting a comprehensive report within four weeks, which will inform further legislative actions

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