The Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface on Saturday, August 6 honoured invitation by the Oyiigbo Bua-Bangha Kiisi Farmers’ Co-operative Society Ltd to sensitize its members on grant and loan management.

The event which held in Bori-Ogoni was meant to among others prepare the hundreds of members of the co-operative society on how to manage the grants and loans that they are expecting from their partner organizations through Wema bank, etc.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Fyneface Dumnamene told the gathering that grants are non-refundable fund while loans are refundable with interest rate, some times. He further sensitized the group that loans can also be interest-free and revolving which implies that when those who earlier collected the loan are able to payback in a timely manner and the funds are collated and given as loan to other people on a revolving basis. He said under a revolving loan scheme, the availability of funds to other potential beneficiaries is subject to the timely repayment of loans by earlier beneficiaries. Fyneface also told the farmers that grants, though non-refundable is given by donors, not because they do not have needs for the money themselves or that they have money to waste but because they want to help beneficiaries solve a problem, improve their lives and lift them out of poverty by addressing the program for which the grant was awarded to address. He thus told them that such funds given as grant is monitored through M&E (monitoring and evaluation) process to ensuring that it is used for the purpose for which it was given like farming activities, creating jobs for others as well as promote development with periodic reporting obligations on the beneficiaries like both the members and the co-operative society.

(A cross section of members of the co-operative society at the event)

Fyneface warned the farmers against diverting grants and loans received for other purposes including improved diet, payment of debt, marrying new wives, buying new cloths and taking new girl-friends among many others than the agricultural and related business purposes for which the money was loaned or granted. He cautioned and placed on record that his presence at the event does not mean an endorsement of the promises made to them by both the leadership of the co-operative or partner organizations that funds will be given to them as either a grant or loan for their businesses and agricultural activities but to sensitize them based on information passed to him on grant and loan management.

The YEAC’s Executive Director, Fyneface Dumnamene however revealed to the farmers that he has opened discussion with the founder of Tingo, a leading United Kingdom Agric-Fintech company and owner of Tingo Pay Super App during his recent trip to the United Kingdom in March 2022. He said he spoke with the Founder to support farmers in the Niger Delta through loans and payment solutions to tackle food shortage, wastage and make profit from their agricultural activities and produce to improve their lives and reduce poverty. He thus assured the farmers that discussions between the company and Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre is ongoing and that as soon as the coast becomes clearer and a deal struck with the Agric-Fintech company for farmers in the Niger Delta, members of the Oyiigbo Bua-Bangha Kiisi Farmers’ Co-operative Society Ltd would be the first to benefit because their name had also been submitted to YEAC on request since April. Fyneface further informed the farmers that Tingo had already been launched in Nigeria starting with farmers in Kebbi State among others and that states in the Niger Delta region is next on the line to benefit from the Tingo Agric financial services as soon as ongoing partnership discussions are concluded between YEAC and Tingo.

He commended the Chairman of the co-operative society, Kabaari Mene Fred Barikpoa for the program and leadership such that the co-operative has a verifiable database of the farmers who are members with phone numbers, account detail and other information captured in the system and promised to work closely with them to bring opportunities to the farmers to boost their capacity for food production in a hydrocarbon polluted environment like Rivers state.

Also speaking at the event were representatives of the farmers’ co-operative insurance company among others.

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