The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and Union Bank Plc have launched a N10bn financing partnership that will see the lender providing funds for the agricultural sector.
The move is part of measures to support the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government and specifically to achieve the macroeconomic multiplier effects of job creation and increase in Gross Domestic Product.
The partnership was sealed at a ceremony that took place at the NIRSAL head office in Abuja, with senior executives and management of both organisations in attendance.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, described the partnership as a game changer for the country’s agricultural value chain.
He said, “Union Bank remains committed to supporting the Nigerian agricultural sector. This deep-rooted support stems from a clear understanding that we must contribute actively to the empowerment of small farmers and agricultural stakeholders across the country in order to unlock the growth potential of the sector.
“We are confident that the N10bn credit facility, which we have launched, will go a long way to boost agricultural productivity in the country, particularly at this time when the Federal Government seeks to steer the economy away from its heavy reliance on the oil and gas sector.”
Emuwa added that the N10bn agricultural fund by Union Bank would be accessible to players operating at various stages of the agricultural value chain, including smallholder farmers, cooperatives and farmer groups, large scale primary producers, integrated farmers, processors, agro-dealers as well as input and equipment suppliers.
The Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, said the partnership was in line with the agency’s mandate to attract private sector finance to agriculture.
He explained that the agency would continue to de-risk the agricultural sector by providing guarantees, noting that this would make it easier for banks to provide funds for the sector.
“The coming on board of Union Bank has edged us a lot closer to our target. I must commend the management of the bank for taking a bold step in the right direction by partnering us on this vision aimed at reshaping the financing landscape of Nigeria’s agricultural economy,” Abdulhameed added.