It is better for 50, 000 Nigerians to collect N200, 000 loan each which is N10 billion, and not pay back than for one Nigerian to collect N10 billion loan and not pay back. However, the argument that the poor don’t pay back loans is very misleading. Report actually show that those who don’t pay back loans are connected rich Nigerians. The rich bankrupted banks while the poor lost their jobs and savings. The rich, not the poor bankrupted People’s Bank, Cooperative and Commerce Bank (CCB), African Continental Bank (ACB) , National Bank, Savannah Bank (SGBN), name them. According to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), 20 debtors currently owe AMCON N3. 35 trillion which is over 67 per cent of the N5trilliion debt to AMCON.
Their latest target is Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan earmarked for poor farmers. N100 billion broken into small loans of N200, 000 each can help 500, 000 small holder farmers cultivate one hectare of rice farm each across the country and lift them out of poverty. If we keep quiet, 10 so called rich and connected Nigerians will share N10 billion loan each which is N100 billon among themselves, pay back N50 billion, and hold back the remaining N50 billion and the interest.
During presidential elections, they will surreptitiously give APC N100 million and give PDP N100 million. Whichever party wins, they will claim that they supported them to win and start lobbying for the balance of #50billion they owe and the interest to be written off and politicians will write the debts off with some absurd reasons like price crash, crop failure, etc.
President Muhammadu Buhari should prevail on CBN to channel rice loans to poor small holder farmers. It is better for a N200 billion loan fund to be spread among 1, 000, 000 farmers at 200, 000 each than for 20 to 50 rich Nigerians to pocket N200 billion which they will never pay back in full. The rich can use their own money to farm or go to the bank of Industry which has stricter lending rules to access funds for their so called industrial agriculture. Enough of the greed!
–Mfon, a management consultant wrote in from Abuja