Stanbic IBTC has presented a N50 billion cheque for agric financing loan scheme to the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, NIRSAL Managing Director, said on Friday in Abuja at the presentation of the cheque that the scheme would commence with N10 billion for the 2017, 2018 dry and wet season farming.
According to him, the programme will be expanded gradually as milestones are achieved.
“The partnership with the bank for the 2017, 2018 dry and wet season will cover NIRSAL supported projects in livestock, crops, mechanisation and poultry.
NIRSAL was launched in 2011 and incorporated in 2013 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a dynamic 500 million dollars public private initiative to define, measure, price and share agribusiness related credit risk.
Abdulhameed said that the phase of the scheme is projected to create over 92,000 direct jobs, impact over 200,000 lives and boost incomes of rural farmers.
“The scheme will also complement government’s efforts to drive inclusive economic growth through agriculture.
“It will also lead to the cultivation of additional 11,195 hectares of arable land, increase the National food output by 50,580 tonnes in yields and provide N3.87 billion value addition,’’ he said.
He said the partnership was aimed at ensuring that commercial agriculture is enhanced and made a mainstream occupation.
Abdulhameed said that NIRSAL’s intervention must be understood within the context of the broad economic policies of the present administration.
He added that NIRSAL as a policy tool of the CBN with the mandate on agriculture, 12 banks had signed up with it for the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Dr Ademola Shogunle, Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC, said the commitment of the bank is to build synergies and assist in realising the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for a new Nigerian economy that is driven by agriculture.
He said that the bank believes in the potential of the agricultural sector to drive the nation’s economy and would always give the necessary assistance to the sector.
Shogunle said that the collaboration is the beginning of several more partnerships aimed at increasing commercial lending to agriculture, which would in turn create more jobs, diversify the economy and create security.
Investigation by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that under the terms of partnership the bank would give loans to bankable agriculture project, while NIRSAL on the strength of its 300 million dollars risk sharing facility will provide credit guarantees.
The guarantees will range from 50 to 70 per cent depending on the aspect of the agricultural value chain that the loan is given.