Re : Massive Fraud in CNB Anchor Borrower’s Program In Cross River

0
65

Inyali Peter|28 January 2017 On the 13th of January, 2017, I published an article with the above headline on Facebook. Because of my interest in the issue, I followed it up with a report in Premium Times, National Daily Newspaper, CrossRiverWatch, Nation, amongst others. After the story was published as news article, I took the pains of writing a feature article on the issue as a follow up. This gave me opportunity to capture more reactions from the innocent victims of the fraud perpetrated by the Cross River State Government in connivance with the Bank of Agriculture. In the stories, farmers who are participants in the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers Program cried out that they were shortchanged in the disbursement of loans and other units. The federal government through the CBN had designed the program to grant farmers N250, 000 per hectare of land for rice cultivation. Government also made provision for other things like distribution of improved specie of treated rice seedlings, fertilizers, herbicide etc. But unfortunately, farmers in Cross River were compelled to sign for N250,000 while they were paid N95,000- regardless the number of hectares of land approved. This was to me the highest level of betrayal on the side of government because these poor farmers are expected to refund this money through their farm produce to the federal government. However, I have been reliably informed that all the staff of the bank who connived with the state government to perpetrate this evil are now under investigation and may be punished soon. Again, the stories attracted the attention of the National Coordinator of the program and the Presidential Committee who have ordered the bank to pay the farmers their entitlements. I can authoritatively confirm that some farmers have received their full payment of N250,000 and the payment is still ongoing. This is a great news for the farmers and great achievement for me and many others who joined the struggle. For those who have made it a point of duty to come online and abuse people who are fighting for the interest of the common man, they need to have a rethink. The joy of every responsible citizen is to stand up against the oppression of the poor. When I wrote about the abnormalities in the world bank funded Commercial Agriculture Development Programme, people, even the subsequent beneficiaries abused and called me all manner of names. But in the end, 600 Cross Riverians were trained in different skills two weeks after my publication. Although, the method of setting up the businesses have been shrouded in fraud but the world bank have increased the funds from N2.5 million to N3 million each and we're hoping that the right thing would be done. Imagine what would become of our state economy few years from now if managers of this programme set up businesses worth N3 million for 600 Cross Riverians. This means over 600 jobs would be created for 600 jobless youths. We must help government to succeed. Most times, the Governor may not even be aware of some of the illicit activities and fraud people use his name and government influence to perpetrate. However, as the Chief Executive Officer of the state, anything that concerns government whether blame or gain must go to him. We can't be playing politics with everything. It's not every critical piece written that should be attributed to opposition politics. Government must learn to exist for both sycophants and those who will see evil and speak out. While the sycophants speak to satisfy the ego of their principals, some of us speak for the sufferings of the masses. Our dear Governor should always remember that those who sing his praises today will be the first set of people to cast aspersion on him if he continues in failure. Congratulations to the farmers and the beneficiaries of the Commercial Agriculture Development Program. Please always remember that if you see something bad, say something. I may not have money to throw around, but I will always speak out against the oppression of the poor. Inyali Peter
Is a Journalist & Social Commentator