The Senate has indicted the Bank of Agriculture in Kaduna over a N3.2bn loan disbursed to 10 vendors to purchase tractors and other equipment for allocation to end users.
The indictment was sequel to the 2016 report of the Auditor General of the Federation considered by the Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Uhroghide.
After an investigation by the committee, the management of the bank was indicted for being unable to account for N3.2bn disbursed to 10 vendors out of the N3.6bn provided in 2015 by the Federal Government through the bank.
The Senate after the adoption of the report of the committee demanded the recovery of N3.2bn loan from the 10 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 nairas) 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 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 under a revolving fund arrangement with expected multiplication effect on the national Agricultural mechanisation 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.”
It added that “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-year loan tenor commencing from the date of release of the machinery/equipment to the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises Centre.
“Since the machinery/equipment were not released on the same day, the expiry dates of the machinery loans also vary.”