The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has distanced its members from impostors alleging that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) owed RIFAN contractors for the supply of agricultural inputs.
The National President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, debunked the claims cited in a newspaper advertorial that the CBN owed billions of naira to some members of RIFAN who supplied farm inputs in the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) being implemented by the bank.
Speaking more about the advertorial, Goronyo said that the open letter could not be traced as an input supplier to the farmers under the ABP and that there was no such thing as “RIFAN Contractors” but “RIFAN Suppliers.
He said, “There is no place that the CBN intervenes in the engagement of our suppliers or service providers. Our suppliers do not have any link with the CBN at all. It is unfortunate that it is late for whoever came up with that write up, to stop these successes already achieved by the CBN. Everybody had witnessed the successes that were afforded by CBN towards achieving food sufficiency in the country.”
More allegations: RIFAN also refuted the claims that the CBN allocated money to fund rice import. According to Goronyo, since 2015, the CBN has not given RIFAN any money for rice import as the rice consumed on a daily basis is grown locally. The bank has however been supporting the association.
“Since 2015, there is no single naira converted to a dollar to import rice into this country again either from Thailand or India. The Rice we produced here is grown and processed locally and this is possible because of the support we got from the CBN through its popular Anchor Borrowers,” he said.
RIFAN’s stance with CBN: The RIFAN President stated that both RIFAN and CBN have a cordial relationship and have no hitches whatsoever.
“RIFAN and CBN are very good friends. They have supported us and we have achieved a lot through the CBN support and we will continue to appreciate the support given to us.”
According to Goronyo, the individual or group involved in the misinterpretations were out to discredit the landmark achievements recorded in rice sufficiency through the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) was launched in 2015 with the aim of creating a link between anchor companies and small-scale farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.