Does NIRSAL Still Exist?

The Nigerian incentive-based system for agriculture lending (NIRSAL) not long ago was in the news for all the negative reasons, from the suspension and eventual removal of the pioneer Managing Director/CEO for corruption and outright stealing to the unwholesome practice in the management of the Anchor borrowers programme and to being mentioned as one of the conduits used by the immediate past Central bank of Nigeria to perpetrate fraud.

Since these exposures, NIRSAL has struggled to rediscover itself and Nigerian farmers who had celebrated the establishment of this noble initiative are left wondering on what the future holds for them in the current dispensation.

Our investigation reveals that NIRSAL as presently constituted is still suffering from the large scale cronyism, tribalism and absence of meritocracy heaped on it by the pioneer Chief Executive hence the continued occupation of positions by people not qualified leading to low impact by the organization. The head of Human Resources Habiba Waziri was particularly mentioned by our sources as she doesn’t have the capacity for that position and relies wholly on Analysts and junior staff to get ahead.

Habiba Waziri in concert with Aisha Jubril the head of Internal control and compliance have been identified as the people still serving the interest of the pioneer Chief Executive and have a controlling influence on the  Managing Director, Abbas Masanawa. They are alleged to have conspired with some of the staffs including Bello Ibrahim Mohammed of Human resource department, Ahmad Mohammed and Ishaq Sani Laishi to loot the NIRSAL guest house in Guzape carting away properties, kitchen equipment and even cash left behind by the past Chief Executive.

All the efforts of the Executive management to commence an internal restructuring to reposition the organization is being sabotaged by these people as their continued occupation of these positions is not guaranteed. However, NIRSAL cannot deliver on its mandate if unqualified officers continue to occupy these strategic positions.

With the current food crisis bedevilling the nation, it is expected that all institutions of Government will multiply efforts in helping Mr President achieve food sufficiency and we hereby call on the CBN Governor as a matter of urgency reposition NIRSAL to enable it continue supporting Nigerian farmers.


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