The Bank of Industry on Tuesday said it had been working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a bid to recover loans collected by some farmers from the bank.
The bank, which lamented the alleged refusal of the farmers to pay back the loans, also said it would involve the services debt collectors to go after the defaulting farmers in recovering the money.
The Branch Head, Ondo State Office of the BOI, Mrs. Marian Obada, stated this at the agriculture stakeholders’ meeting for women farmers in the state held in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The programme was organised by the Justice Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo.
According to the BOI boss, the bank was being owed hundreds of millions of naira by some farmers across the country.
She said, “For the past two months now, we have been running jingles in the media to sensitise them ( debtor farmers). What we want to do is that we will involve debt collectors but that one has additional cost on them (debtors) because they are the ones that will pay the bills of the debt collectors; so that is more burden upon them.
“If the involvement of debt collectors does not work, the next thing we will do is to involve the security agents, the EFCC is now with us; they have started working with us.”
She said the bank was assisting new farmers but stressed that the opportunity would not be available to farmers still owing the bank.
“We are still attending to new farmers and the first thing we do is to educate them on the repayment. Things are now getting better because they have been realising that the money is no national cake,” Obada said.
She urged the farmers to approach any branch of the bank in their states to be able to benefit from various services the bank could render to them.
Also speaking at the programme, the representative of the JDPC, Mr Kingsley Oihoegual, said the motive of organising the event was to chart the way to move agriculture forward in the state.