By Emeka Mamah

KADUNA — National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, has urged President Umaru Yar’Adua to sack the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Sayyadi Abba Ruma for allegedly undermining the Nigerian Agricultural, Cooperative and Rural Development Bank Limited (NACRDB) thereby causing unprecedented hardship to the peasant farmers.

NACRDB branch of the association which made the call yesterday accused Ruma of  “gradually killing the bank because of his selfish interest with all sorts of uncivilized policies that are against the survival of the bank.”

A statement jointly signed by branch Chairman, Ade Martins Odigie and the President of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions of the bank, Bala Waziri, said the minister whose ministry was not even one of the shareholders of the bank had continued to undermine the institution by running it like his personal estate through his “draconian” policies.

According to them, the “selfish activities of the minister” have brought untold hardship to Nigerian farmers who rely on credit facilities from the bank, adding that “a more focussed Nigerian” should be appointed in his place “to steer the ship of the Ministry of Agriculture so that the peasant Nigerian farmers would smile again.”

According to the association, other atrocities of Ruma include:

“Sacking of over 700 members of staff of the bank in 2008 on the grounds of unending restructuring exercise that commenced since his appointment.

“Lack of funding since his appointment; no budgetary provision has been made for the bank thereby by extension denying farmers of loans.

“Despite the above, monies meant for agriculture and rural farmers are being channelled to the Bank of Industry and other commercial banks for commercial farming.”

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