EletiofeBandits Force Farmers To Pay N100,000 ‘Access Fee’ For...

Bandits Force Farmers To Pay N100,000 ‘Access Fee’ For Permission To Farm

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Bandits have ordered farmers in some locations in the northern part of the country to pay as much as N100,000 before they are allowed to access their farms.

The farmers have to pay before they are allowed to plant and nurture their farms, while additional payments are made for harvesting.

This alarming revelation was made known in a fresh report by SB Morgan Intelligence, released in March 2024.

According to the report, bandits in some communities in Kaduna, farmers have been forced to pay between N70,000 and N100,000 for permission to farm while those who refuse to comply face consequences ranging from kidnap, murder to destruction of their farms and confiscation of their produce.

The report stated, “In Kaduna, communities like Kidandan, Galadimawa Kerawa, Sabon Layi, Sabon Birni and Ruma have been significantly impacted.

Residents in these areas have reported paying substantial sums ranging from N70,000 to N100,000 to bandits for permission to farm, with additional payments required for harvesting. Those who resist these demands face severe consequences, including abduction, murder or confiscation of their produce.”

The report added that in Zamfara State, payments to bandits depends on the type of crop being planted with more expensive crop’s farmers paying the highest. For example, rice farmers in some LGAs are expected to pay around N120,000 as farm levies to bandits while guinea corn farmers were made to pay just N50,000.

Furthermore, the report noted that payments to bandits could either be in cash or from the proceeds of harvests, as the levies are usually higher during the harvest season. Bandits have also engaged in tacit slavery, forcing communities to grow and sell crops for them.

Between November 2020 and November 2023, farmers across the North-west states were levied around N224.92 million by different groups of bandits operating in the region. The abductions and in some cases deaths of victims have forced many to flee their home communities as the non-state actors continue to hold sway despite the efforts of security forces.

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