The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) says it has disbursed N895, 545, 564 as loans to farmers and other categories of business operators as in Kwara State since its inception in 1972.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Kabir Adamu, made this known on Thursday in Erin-Ile, Kwara at the inauguration of Erin-Ile branch of the Bank.
Emmanuel Ameh, Executive Director, Retail Operations of the bank represented Mr Adamu at the occasion.
Mr Adamu noted that out of the amount, the N227, 463, 952 had been repaid, leaving a balance of N618, 081, 612 unpaid.
He described as not encouraging, the failure by many of those who took the loans to repay.
“I wish to seize this opportunity to request all those who collected loans from BOA and still owe to go and pay up.
“Without paying back their earlier loan, they cannot have any relationship with the bank again and they are denying opportunities to genuine would-be borrowers the ability to access fund from the bank,” he said.
Mr Adamu said BOA charged between nine per cent and 14 per cent on its loans.
He told the people of Erin-Ile and its environs that the branch would be run as one of the bank’s business focus products known as “the Bank of agriculture Rural Business Initiative (BoARBI) model. “
“The model is anchored on the federal government concept of financial inclusion which fulfills the Bank’s primary mission of stimulating agriculture.”
According to him, the concept would improve lives and grow communities by promoting sustainable agriculture and rural prosperity through effective credit support.
“It is targeted at people whose loan requirements start from as low as N20, 000 and are largely not banked.”
Mr Adamu said the bank had the mandate to provide services in agricultural value chain lending, non-agricultural lending, savings mobilisation and rural self-employment opportunities.
He called on the people of Erin-Ile to see the new branch of the bank as an opportunity to take advantage of the BoARBI Centre to grow their businesses.
According to the managing director, the branch would afford them the opportunity to increase their personal and family income.
“In particular, we shall give priority to the women and the youths willing to meet our requirements.”
Mr Adamu also assured the people of the town that as the bank progresses in its operations, it would support those whose financial requirements were beyond the BoARBI threshold.
In his remarks, the Elerin of Erin-Ile, Abdulganiyu Ibrahim, expressed happiness at the opening of the bank in his domain town.
“I am very happy because in Erin-Ile and indeed, the entire Oyun, our main occupation is farming,” he said.
The monarch appealed to the people owing the bank to repay their loans to allow others benefit from the scheme.
The Onira of Ira, Abdulwahab Oyetade, Onipe of Ipe, and Secretary, Oyun Local Government Council, Samson Babatunde among other important dignitaries attended the occasion.