Aides to Governor Douye Diri and his predecessor, former Governor Seriake Dickson on Wednesday traded words over the alleged mismanagement and diversion of N3 billion Agricultural loan extended to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Mr. John Idumange, a former aide to ex-Governor Seriake Dickson on Social Media and General Manager, Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation, has accused the present administration of alleged diversion of N3 billion Agricultural loan extended to the state by the CBN.
However, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. David Alagoa, dismissed the allegation, saying the loan is being directly supervised and disbursed by the CBN through a commercial bank in a partnership arrangement and not by the Bayelsa State Government.
Alagoa confirmed that all the benefitting farmers have been allocated pieces of land and given the sum of N50, 000.00 to prepare their land for cultivation.
He said, “Some of the farmers, including fish farmers have received inputs through the system for their ponds. Seven thousand bags of fertilisers, cassava stems, and other inputs are in various communities from the second tranche of the loan.
“This loan disbursement is through the banks to individual accounts of the farmers. CBN took this approach probably because of previous experience across the country. The disbursement here in Bayelsa is so transparent. Idumange does not have any information about the loan. He should have asked questions. He can simply go to the Yenagoa branch of the CBN if he needs information and not to spread fake news."
Following his allegation on Tuesday, Idumange has come under heavy criticism from supporters and loyalists of Governor Diri.
He had alleged that “sometime in 2019, the immediate past administration applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria for an N3 billion Agricultural loan. The Governor Douye Diri administration received the loan. The first tranche of N1.5 billion was paid in March 2020 to the Prosperity administration. The money was squandered".
“The last tranche of the loan N1. 5 billion has been paid in February 2021 via Access Bank Plc. A paltry sum of money is what the administration is using to clear some hectares of land. I am sure the Commissioner of Agriculture was not aware. Plans have been concluded by the government to give fifty thousand naira (N50, 000) to selected farmers in Bayelsa State. It is too early for the Prosperity administration to defraud Bayelsans and then shift the blame to the immediate past administration,” he had added.