The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kaduna zonal office, has recovered N102 million diverted from the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in Kebbi.
A statement by the spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said the funds were diverted by beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, disbursed by BOA. Uwujaren said so far a total of N297 million had been recovered by the commission in favour of BOA in Kaduna and Kebbi states.
The Head of Operations of the Kaduna office, Ibrahim Bappa, formally presented a bank draft for the N102 million to one Mohammed Babangida, who represented the BOA Managing Director.
Bappa assured the bank that the EFCC would continue to assist it in the discharge of its statutory duties. He, however, decried the worrisome trend in which beneficiaries of the scheme diverted the funds, and urged the BOA to ensure proper orientation before loans were disbursed.
Responding, Babangida lauded the efforts of the EFCC in the recovery, saying the action had restored confidence in the bank. The EFCC spokesman said investigations into the matter began in 2017 following a complaint.
According to him, the complaint bordered on the diversion of part of the N12 billion disbursed to some rice farmers through BOA in which Kebbi acted as uptaker for the purchase of paddy rice.
“In the course of investigations, it was revealed that some rice mills in Kebbi collected bags of rice but failed to remit the total agreed sum.
“So far, the Kaduna zonal office of the EFCC has been able recover N297 million in favour of the Anchor Borrowers Programme in Kaduna and Kebbi States,” he said.