From Sani Suleiman-Jalingo
Over two thousand Farmers that have benefited from the 2018 Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria RIFAN’s loan of infuts did not pay the money worth over three hundred million naira in Taraba state.
State Acting Chairman of the Association Comrade Tanko Bobbo Andamu made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen on his plans toward transforming and reviving the activities of the Association in the state as he assumed office.
He said when he came on board he found that non of the beneficiaries of last year’s weight season paid the loan, pointed out that some collected five items, some four, some two, while there were those that collected one item respectively.
Comrade Tanko Bobbo Andemu explained that the funds are revolving as it is a policy of RIFAN, therefore he has set up some committees including recovery of loan committee as that would give those that did not benefitted last year have access to the loan this year.
According to him, he observed that many people that benefitted from the loan was not fully aware that the loan was payable, but they thought it was a political gesture, saying that with the advocacy tour he embarked on all the Farmers as well as awareness campaign on the media in some couple of weeks, now many beneficiaries have started responding towards repayment of the loan.
” All machineries are set in place, so that each and every one of them that collected these item will know how much he is going to pay, where to pay and how to pay because they were not well informed about the program by the past administration of the association”.
Comrade Tanko Bobbo Andemu also noted that out of the problems RIFAN is experiencing in Taraba state including ghost Farmers, in equality in the distribution of infuts as well despite extortion from the real Farmers they were not been able to access the loan among others, an abnormalities he promised to correct.
He said in an effort to reformed the association and achieved his desire if identifying the real farmers, a form with code “Green Form” has been designed and non for sale is written on it with the aim to reach the actual farmer from the rural areas across the state.
” Anybody that photocopy or decide to buy the form somewhere he is wasting his/her time and money because i know how much i spent in printing and coding the form, so also i also have a central collection center where a farmer most register his/her name before collecting the form, so if you did not get the genuine form from us which is free because i don’t want them to suffer any more, so i do not know where and who you are going to summit to”. Tanko emphasized.
Commenting on selling of infuts after collecting, the Chairman stated that most of those that were selling such items were not real farmers which he attributed to lack of transparency in the process, adding that there were people that are ridickling the system by bringing in non farmers to collect the infuts and sale it out.
However, Comrade Tanko Bobbo Andamu observed that lack of early disbursement of infuts also make even the real farmers to sale them out after collecting because they will become useless to them for that particular season, where he assured farmers that this time around he will do his best to see that the infuts are made available to them on the appropriate time to avoid selling.
While expressing dismay on the way thinks are going in the Association at the state level, Andemu cautioned members of the executive and other supporting staff to adjust and learn how to fix their houses as according to him so many things have gone wrong and they most be corrected, while he promised to carry everyone along to achieved the set goals for the development of Taraba state.