Nigeria: Nirsal Partners Banks to Provide N102 Billion Credit for Agriculture

21 February 2020

Abuja — The Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed, has said the company has facilitated over N102 billion as loans from commercial banks since its inception across the various agricultural value chains in the country.

NIRSAL Plc, a wholly-owned corporation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is a $500million non-bank financial institution specifically designed to redefine, measure, re-price and share agribusiness-related credit risk.

By its mandate, NIRSAL is not a lending institution but was created to stimulate the flow of affordable finance and investments into fixed agricultural value chains. This, it does through fixing of agricultural value chains, building long-term capacity, and institutionalising incentives for agricultural lending as well as leveraging its five strategic pillars namely: risk sharing, innovative insurance technical assistance, incentive mechanism and rating.

Chatting with editors in Abuja, Abdulhameed said NIRSAL serves as a catalyst that enables providers of finance and investment lend and invest in agribusinesses leveraging on its credit risk guarantees and risk management products, tools, techniques, methodologies and strategic partnerships.

In line with its strategic and innovative approach to delivering its mandate, the CEO added that NIRSAL had within a short period of time achieved, among others, the development of area yield index insurance for the CBN's Anchor Borrowers' Programme; development of Hybrid Index Product with Royal Exchange Plc and submitted to NAICOM for approval, and signed agreement with PETKUS Technologies GMBH on new technologies for seed and grain processing in Nigeria.

He said NIRSAL had also implemented plan for the NIRSAL Student Knowledge Enterprise and Practice Programme (NSKEP), as he explained that the ongoing programme would provide exposure for 400-500 level students in agribusiness disciplines to gain field experience and pursue entrepreneurship in agribusiness, and operationalise the financing framework for the acquisition and rehabilitation of tractors and other machines for redeployment into the field for productive use.

According to him, "N717million was given as CRG cover to Mass International and Equipment Nigerian Limited and Machine and Equipment Consortium for Africa (MECA) for the purchase of tractors. NIRSAL action research-based Windmill for Irrigation was set up and the pilot project is at completion phase.

"Development of concept note and financing framework for Vendor Financing Lot Sharing System (VFLOS) is also currently fully operational. Consultation is ongoing with the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) to assist in identifying quality seed varieties for NIRSAL Interventions.

"Distribution of inputs materials to smallholder farmers across the country under the CBN's Anchor Borrowers' Programme (ABP) was carried out and the issuance of credit trade terms to certified input suppliers was also done under the programme."

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