The Benue State Government says it has lost the sum of 400 million naira to loan defaulters since it assumed office in 2015.
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom who disclosed while flagging off a 500 million naira agricultural value chain development loan scheme in Makurdi the State capital warned against defaulting.
He explained that Benue as Food Basket of the Nation must live up to its reputation, stressing that every country in the world excels by utilizing its areas of competitive and comparative advantage.
Governor Ortom stated that the need to diversify Nigeria’s economy away from oil makes agriculture one of the sure pathways for sustainable economy and quality livelihood.
The Governor said the “loan is neither a largesse nor national cake” but a credit facility that must be paid back in full at the end of its tenure and is tied to salaries of beneficiaries which would be deducted at source when salaries are paid.
According to the Governor, his administration had in the last five years, provided “N400 million as loan to women, youths and civil servants and other groups to encourage them engage in various economic activities to improve their livelihood”.
Manager Bank of Industry, Boniface Awodi said Governor Ortom deserved applause for the arrangement and urged the beneficiaries to abide by the terms and conditions of the loan.
The loan facility which is an arrangement between Benue State government and Bank of Industry is for a repayment period of three and two years for civil servants and political appointees respectively at only 5% interest rate.