The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called on the two anti-graft agencies in the country, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to wade into the N100bn fund disbursed to some states in the federation (as repayable loans), to build ranches for modern processing of beef.
In a release issued by the media and publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran he stated that, “Against the background of revelations and claims made in certain quarters concerning the RUGA issue and its suspension by the Federal Government, it has become imperative for us as anti-corruption organization to lend our voice to the strident calls by some good-spirited Nigerians to the effect that N100bn (One Hundred Billion Naira) that was disbursed in 2014 by the President Jonathan Administration as Agricultural loans to states, willing to build cattle ranches for modern processing of beef which would then be transported nationwide to consumers. This initiative was aimed at ending the bloodletting associated with cattle rearing in Nigeria; prevent roaming of cattle, increasing the production of beef and milk that will cut down the expenditure of $1.2bn a year on milk importation, among others.
The CACOL boss added, “Apparently, if these funds had been properly dispensed with for the very purpose it was meant for, the issue of another Rural Grazing Areas carved out should not arise. This is why we (CACOL) believe that it is imperative that those governors and individuals that benefitted from such loans should be made to refund the monies collected. This is necessary to encourage accountability and transparency and to also reflect the fact that the government’s money was never free and must be properly taken stock of. It is also germane for any future efforts of the government on this issue or any of its type, to be taken seriously and not be seen as another conduit for syphoning public funds or settling political patronage. The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, therefore, call on the anti-graft agencies to demand an investigation into fund disbursed for the programme in other to recover every penny appropriated throughout the phase thereof.
The boss added that, as a matter of urgency and national interest, the anti-graft agencies should wade in and bring whosoever is culpable to book without much ado to serve as a deterrent.
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