BANK of Agriculture (BOA) has appealed to loan defaulters in Kwara state to pay back an outstanding sum of N618 million loan indebtedness to the bank.
Speaking with journalists at the inauguration of Erin-Ile branch of the bank in Oyun local government area of Kwara state, the managing director of BOA, Alhaji Kabiru Muhammad, said that the bank had deposited a sum of N895million in Kwara state since inception 15 years ago, adding that only N277million had been repaid.
“We do not want bad loans. It is not government largesse. We are not distributing government money. This is a bank. Of course, the bank is owned by the federal government but the funding comes with a cost. So, the money is not free. People have to take loans and then pay back.
Out of this N618million that is outstanding, I have called on the people having such loans to pay back. When you pay back, you have the opportunity of getting a repeat loan and then other people can benefit”, he said.
Represented by the executive director, Retail Banking and Northern Operations of the bank, Emmanuel Ameh, the managing director described the bank as a financial institution with a mandate to provide services in the areas of agricultural value chain lending, savings mobilisation and rural self-employment to alleviate sufferings of Nigerians.
“We finance agriculture and non- agriculture. We have 141 branches nationwide. Most of them are in the rural areas. The rural community can benefit, even rural traders, artisans can patronise us. We give small loans for financial inclusion. The interest rate is between nine and 14 per cent
“In the past one year, we have been implementing specifically the anchor borrowers programme of the federal government which is a scheme where large processors of crops and smallholders farmers come together. It has been a huge success. BOA has done 72 per cent of the anchor borrowers programme nationwide and in Kwara, we have done about N155million and we are calling for more. By the end of the raining season, we would have done more.
“The bank started operation in 1972 but we came to Kwara about 15 years ago. I am calling on Kwarans to take advantage of our locations in Ilorin, Lafiagi, Iwo-Isin and Okuta.
“Kwara is one of the states that have the largest network of BoA in Nigeria today. So they should take advantage of our location and take more loans from the bank and also be prepared to pay back”, he said.
Muhammad, who advised people to ensure good use of the opportunity, said that the requirements for loan start from N20,000 to N5 million.
He also said that the community (Erin-Ile) had shown massive enthusiasm, adding that the community requested for the bank and also donated the building.
In a remark, the Kabiyesi Alaiyeluwa of Erin-ile, Oba Abdulganiy Ajibola Ibrahim expressed appreciation to the management of BOA and hailed their mode of operation.
lyaloja of Erin-ile, Alhaja Jemilat Jaramosu, also pledged the support of women to the success of the bank.
Source: Tribune Online