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Reps Indict Buhari Govt Over N2trn Agric Funds, Commence Probe

The House of Representatives has indicted the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari over alleged misuse of government interventions and agricultural funding of N2trn by departments, agencies, Schemes and Programmes of the Federal Government outside the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

It therefore mandated its Committees on Nutrition and Food Security and Agricultural Production and Services, Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance on Tuesday to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the alleged misuse.

The House action followed the motion moved by Hon. Chike Okafor during the plenary, who lamented that there is growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria.

He alleged that funds intended for agricultural development in the country were mismanaged for eight years.

According to the Rep, the Federal Government, through various schemes and interventions in the last eight years, has spent over two trillion Naira in funding agricultural interventions.

He said the interventions aimed at 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

He stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the Anchor Borrowers Program, disbursed about I.12 trillion Naira to 4.67 million farmers involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 (five hundred and sixty-three only) anchors.

“The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) disbursed (two hundred and fifteen billion, sixty-six million, nine hundred and eighty thousand, two hundred and seventy-four Naira, fifty-two Kobo) so far to facilitate agriculture and
agro-businesses.

“Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed 3 billion Naira to twenty-two thousand, one hundred and twenty smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme. Additionally, the bank funded forty-nine agro and food processing businesses with 59.4 billion Naira in loans.

“In 2023, the Federal Government of Nigeria unveiled a 5 billion Naira Loan facility to the Bank
of Agriculture (BOA) for Livestock farmers across the country,” Okafor said.

He further revealed that “National Agricultural Development Fund in March of 2024 inaugurated a NI.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT) for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions.”

He alleged 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.”

He stressed that the agricultural sector plays a crucial role in ensuring food security, improving nutrition,
and supporting the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians and that “any abuse of the programmes and schemes of the government drastically affects millions of innocent citizens.”

Consequently, he said there is “the need to investigate government agricultural interventions and funding allocated to Departments, Agencies, Schemes and Programs outside the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to ensure transparency, accountability, and effective resource utilisation.”

The motion was passed and the house mandated the to carry out investigation and to report back within four legislative weeks for further legislative actions.

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