Stanbic IBTC has committed an initial N10 billion for the take-off of a N50 billion Agriculture Finance Scheme that was launched and signed with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) for the 2017/2018 dry and wet season farming at the weekend in Abuja.
The scheme is expected to boost agricultural productivity, jobs creation, improving living standards of rural farmers and contribute to the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government administration.
The launch, is a product of a strategic partnership between the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Stanbic IBTC.
Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL said the scheme is designed to ensure that individuals, cooperatives, companies, organised investment groups that have bankable agricultural projects have access to finance.
“Under the terms of the partnership, Stanbic IBTC will give loans to bankable agric projects while NISRAL – on the strength of its $300m risk sharing facility – will provide credit guarantees. The credit guarantees will range from 50-70 percent depending on the aspect of the agricultural value chain that the loan is given”, Aliyu Abdulhameed said
He explained that the financing scheme will cover NISRAL supported projects in livestock, crops, mechanization, logistics and poultry value chains.
Excited at the N10 billion committed for the take-off of the scheme, Abdulhameed stated thus: “With this, across the enterprises and segments of agricultural production, the following will be the impact of the N10Billion financing scheme on some selected segments.
If the entire N50 Billion is fully utilized, it will impact positively by 500% on the above segment and many others” Abdulhameed stated. He said the scheme will boost incomes of rural farmers and complement government’s efforts to drive inclusive economic growth through agriculture.
“Our intervention must be understood within the context of the broad economic policies of the Buhari administration. NIRSAL is a policy tool of the Central Bank with the mandate de-risk agriculture and give banks the comfort to lend to the sector.
“We are therefore collaborating with financial institutions such as STANBIC IBTC to drive growth in the agriculture sector as part of our institutional contribution to achieving the objectives of the economic recovery growth of the Buhari administration where the role of NIRSAL is clearly stated.
“The partnership with STANBIC IBTC is practical evidence of the increasing confidence of the banks to partner with us to achieving this objective. It marks the start of NIRSAL’s long term collaboration with STANBIC IBTC to ensure that commercial agriculture is entrenched and made a mainstream occupation”, he added.
Describing the relationship with NIRSAL as ‘landmark partnership’, Dr Demola Sogunle, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC said the partnership is the beginning of the march towards diversification of the country’s economy and regarded the relationship as a natural partner.