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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Assembly to investigate use of N1.5 bn CBN loan to Anambra

The Anambra State House of Assembly has voiced dissatisfaction with the utilization of a N1.5billion loan provided to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for agricultural purposes. 

As a result, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Nnamdi Onukwuba, may be asked to respond. 

It was learned that the state administration, led by Governor Willie Obiano, asked for and received the loan for the purpose of fish and rice cultivation in several local government areas throughout the state’s three senatorial zones.  

This was revealed by the Assembly Committee on Economic Planning, Sustainable Development Goals, and Donor Agencies, chaired by Hon Ebele Ejiofor. 

Following an oversight visit to the project sites, the committee voiced concern over the poor quality of work done by contractors in charge of the building of the 600 fishponds, hostel blocks, and farm homes in the Aguleri and Adazi Nnukwu villages, respectively. 

To that aim, the committee stated that it may ask Agriculture Commissioner Nnamdi Onukwuba to come before the House to explain how the ministry spent the loan received in 2020.  

According to reports, the CBN has issued guidelines for the regulation of the private sector-led Accelerated Agricul­ture Development Scheme (P-AADS) in order to boost private sector staple food production, industrial raw materials, and support food security, job creation, and economic diversification in the country by 2020. 

It was part of an effort to address the country’s food security and youth unemployment issues. 

In partnership with state governments, the Accelerated Agricul­ture Development Scheme (AADS) aimed to involve 370,000 youths in agricultural production.  

Following the sluggish pace and poor quality of work in the two areas visited, MPs threatened to revoke the contracts. 

The contracts were awarded by the state Ministry of Agriculture for the construction of 300 fishponds in Adazi Nnukwu, Anaocha Local Government Area, for N75.2 million, and another 300 fishponds in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area, for the same amount.  

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