By Lateef Taiwo
Senate has indicted the Bank of Agriculture in Kaduna over N3.2 billion loan disbursed to ten vendors to purchase tractors and other equipment for allocation to end users.
The indictment was sequel to the 2016 report of Auditor General of the Federation considered by Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Uhroghide.
After investigation by the Committee, the Management of bank was indicted for unable to account for N3.2 billion disbursed by 10 vendors out N3.6 billion provided in 2015 by the Federal government through the bank.
Our correspondent learnt that the Ministry of Agriculture selected the 10 unnamed vendors for the Management of bank of Agriculture which the N3.2 billion was disbursed.
The loan has four years expiring date .
The Senate after adoption of the report of the Committee asked for the recovery of N3.2 billion from ten unnamed vendors .
The query reads, “The sum of N3,200,592,007.00 (Three billion, two hundred million, five hundred and ninety-two thousand, seven naira) was disbursed out of N3,600,000,000.00 (Three billion, six hundred million naira) provided between 24th March, 2015 and 17th November 2015, by the Federal Government through the Bank to 10 (ten) vendors selected by the Ministry of Agriculture to purchase tractors and other equipment for allocation to end users.
” The beneficiaries were expected to make repayment through Service Provider Operators (SPOs) under a revolving fund arrangement with expected multiplication effect on the national Agricultural mechanization agenda.
“The Bank was to monitor and supervise the disbursement as well as ensure recovery of the funds for further lending to new participants. However, the entire revolving fund could not be accounted for by the Bank‟s Management.
“The Managing Director was communicated to account for all the amounts involved.”
But, the Bank of Agriculture in its written response which was not accepted by the Committee said, “Programme was structured with a four (4) year loantenor commencing from the date of release of the machinery/equipment to theAEHE Centre. Since the machinery/equipment were not released on the sameday, the expiry dates of the machinery loans also vary”