By Mumini Abdulkareem
The list of beneficiaries of the N1 billion Agriculture loan of the Kwara State Government, yesterday, generated controversy as two officials rendered separate accounts on its whereabouts.
Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Hon Ishiaku Aliyu Adams, yesterday, at the floor of the House during 2018 Budget debate said the house will investigate the farmers that benefitted from the loan distributed by the state government.
Adams later told National Pilot in an interview in his office that the Commissioner for Agric has deliberately refused to furnish his committee with the list despite several demands adding that, “We are yet to receive the list from the commissioner as I speak with you now.”
“We have written several letters in lieu of this but we are yet to get response.” he added.
But in a swift reaction over the matter, Adegoke denied the accusation while speaking to our reporter in his office.
According to him, he has directed the list be forwarded to the House in hard copy but was later told by the House that they needed it in soft copy.
Explaining further, Adegoke said the House wrote me and said they need the details of all the beneficiaries, and it was complied and sent but we were told they needed it in soft copy.
“There is an Anchor Borrowers Scheme and there is the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme (CACS) loan. The only money they have taken so far is the CACS which we have distributed. The one billion naira was approved at the floor of the House and we will defend it in the open when we start the budget defence, there is nothing secret about that” he added.
He maintained there is no problem between the lawmakers and his ministry.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State chapter of Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria has assured members that the 2017 Agric loan from the Federal Government will soon be disbursed to them.
The Secretary of the association in the state, Mallam Tajudeen Onilu gave the assurance in a statement issued in Ilorin on Tuesday.
He appealed to cassava growers in the state to exercise patience with the government over loan disbursement.
The statement said the association had complied with all required conditions including opening of bank account for the disbursement of the loan.
Onilu, noted that the association recently expressed worry that its members were yet to benefit from N1 billion Federal Government Agriculture Loan Scheme in the state.
The statement appreciated the state government for its prompt intervention towards ensuring that its members were carried along in the disbursement of the loan scheme.
The statement said members of the association had met all the conditions required to secure the loan such as acquisition of lands to cultivate cassava in large quantities.
The statement appealed to the state government to hasten the process that would make them access the loan at the right time.
It advised members of the association to remain calm on the issue as the state government is on top of the issue.