AgroNigeria denies fraud allegation
• Says It Is Campaign Of Calumny
The corruption allegation reported against the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Landing (NIRSAL) and its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abdulhameed Aliyu has been described as a deliberate campaign of calumny meant to debar the organisation from executing its mandate.
An online publication had alleged the misappropriation of certain amounts and the withholding of another intervention fund in Imo and Delta States.At a news conference in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer of AgroNigeria, Richard-Mark Mbaram, said findings showed a deliberate campaign of calumny is being waged against NIRSAL by persons who have sinister, self-serving motives and have had their operations circumscribed by NIRSAL, in the course of the latter’s execution of its mandate.
He therefore, urged the agricultural community to reject and disregard the attention seeking exercise and remain focused on moving the sector forward by working with the institutions and agencies that are doing their very best to bring the dreams of farmers to reality.
“ We sought to hear from the officials of these governments as to who the alleged ‘expropriated’ funds belonged to, and the conclusion was to the end that it is was an exercise in fake news. As for the transaction involving Hope Concepts Investment Cooperatives and Credit Union, in which N342 million belonging to the entity was allegedly misappropriated by NIRSAL, AgroNigeria’s investigations reveal that the monies had since been returned to the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria, after the result of NIRSAL’s due-diligence revealed a number of questionable dealings which run foul of the De-risking Entity’s pre-disbursement requirements.”
Mbaram added that NIRSAL is not a lending institution, but a de-risking entity, which provides third party guarantee on transactions consummated between Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) and their customers. He said with the support of CBN, NIRSAL has successfully guaranteed over N85.5bn worth of Agriculture loans. “
“The renewal of Mr. Emefiele’s tenure is evidence that the current administration is resolved to sustain its economic policies around import substitution and an entity like NIRSAL, which is pivotal to the attainment of these objectives will certainly draw ire from self-serving, economic saboteurs who in themselves are knowledgeable in the ways and means of blackmail and subterfuge.
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