As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) call for more financial institutions to get involved in agric development financing, a leading commercial bank, Ecobank Nigeria is set to partner with Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to invest a sum of N15bn, her first allocation to agricultural value chain financing.
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, announced the partnership during a business meeting with the NIRSAL management in Lagos.
Akinwuntan said that Ecobank Nigeria has finalized plans to invest a minimum of N70 bn agric financing for the next 3 years. He said the N15 billion initial funding with NIRSAL is an inceptive allocation.
According to Akinwuntan, agriculture is key to the success and growth of any nation’s economy, therefore Ecobank is devoted to joining NIRSAL to unleash the large opportunities that is in agriculture.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, advised the bank to utilize the opportunities accessible in funding the agricultural sector, taking advantage of NIRSAL’s geo-cooperatives template where everyone in the agricultural value chain is secured within an end-to-end approach.
He said the approach is to make the financing of agricultural value chain better, create value for both farmers and financiers equipping them with innovative tools, techniques, methodologies and establishing strategic partnership, towards producing a symbiotic union between everyone along the Agricultural value chain.
It would be recalled that Stanbic IBTC, Union Bank, and Sterling Bank recently dedicated a sum of N2 billion, N1.5 billion and N1 billion respectively to NIRSAL, towards the aiding of maize and soybean value chains in the country.
NIRSAL is an innovative structure set up by the Federal Government to aid finaacial lending to farmers in order to transform the agricultural sector in Nigeria.