Ecobank Nigeria says it has entered into a strategic partnership with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending to provide N15bn funding for agricultural investment schemes.
A statement issued by the bank described the funding as the first tranche in its agricultural value chain financing, saying the partnership between both institutions was in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s request that banks should provide more funding to the agriculture sector.
Announcing the partnership in Lagos during a business meeting with the management of NIRSAL, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, disclosed that the bank had concluded plans to invest at least N70bn in agriculture financing within the next three years.
He stated that the N15bn dedicated funding with NIRSAL guarantee was for an initial takeoff tranche and that rollovers would be done at the completion of each cycle.
Akinwuntan said, “Agriculture is pivotal to the success and development of any nation’s economy. We are, therefore, committed to working with NIRSAL to open up the vast opportunities that abound in agriculture.
“Ecobank has done it in other countries across the continent, so, we can do the same in Nigeria. This will give us the opportunity to create employment and enable farmers to finance their children’s education with ease.
“We prefer people to see us not just as a bank, but as a partner who will help them succeed. We are part of the community and we meet the people at the point of their needs.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, urged the bank to harness the opportunities available in financing the agricultural sector.
He stated that the approach to agribusiness created value for both farmers and financiers.
According to Abdulhameed, NIRSAL work primarily to create value for both financiers and farmers.
He said, “It is in view of this that we have created innovative tools, techniques, methodologies and established strategic partnerships like this to create a symbiotic relationship between all actors along the agricultural value chain.”