Fidelity Bank Assures Rural Communities Of Support..Disburses N34bn In Credit To Boost Rice Value Chain

Nneka-Onyeali-Ikpe,  MD/CE Fidelity Bank
Nneka-Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CE Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank has assured of it’s continued support for rural communities by way of farmer empowerment and employment generation.
To this end, the bank has facilitated the disbursement of over N34 billion in direct credit to players in the Nigerian rice value chain unlocking spontaneous financing opportunities for a large number of paddy rice farmers in line with the objective of boosting and expanding the national paddy rice output.
Only recently, the bank part-financed the construction of a 400 metric tons per day mega rice mill in Kano state owned by the Gerawa Group of Companies.
Commenting on the development, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, said, “Through our interventions in the rice space, we have created positive impact in rural communities by way of farmer empowerment and employment generation. This is also in alignment with the business sustainability imperative of our banking business.”
Shedding light on the bank’s activities further down the value chain, Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe stated that the bank directly financed the construction and installation of several integrated rice mills across different geo-political zones in Nigeria. These rice mills have a combined rice milling capacity in excess of 500,000 MT per annum.
Recognizing the importance of the last mile traders in the value chain, she noted, “We have also provided low-cost funds to rice traders to purchase rice from indigenous rice millers for sale to the final consumers. This has helped in stabilizing the prices of locally produced rice.”
Whilst stressing the importance of imbibing sustainability practices, Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe points out that the bank has modelled effective social and environmental sustainability frameworks into its agribusiness deal structuring workflow to address social and environmental sustainability requirements. This, she adds follows the CBN’s Sustainable Banking Principles and Sector Guideline, IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles.
The bank’s activities have continued to receive recognition by operators, funding partners and all other actors in the agribusiness space.