Uche Olowu, the President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), who spoke to the Guardian during the institute’s 2018 Fellowship Investiture programme recently in Lagos, said agric financing is very vital for sustainable growth of Nigeria’s economy, uplifting the poor out of poverty and for inclusion of the unbanked citizens financially.
According to Olowu, “we are commoditizing our certifications and competencies and agric financing is very critical to the nation’s economy if we have to lift the poor and the unbanked and so we are setting a special certification in agric financing because it’s a specialized lending. A lot of resources need to be channelled into agriculture because as people understand what they are supposed to do, to de-risk agriculture, the value chain will do better”.
To make sure plans to boost the agriculture sector through financing is successful, CIBN will collaborate with Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BOA, Mohammed Adams, said that there have been collaborations between BOA and NIRSAL on how to make access to loans easier for the farmers to access. He said collaborations with the CIBN will solidify farmers’ access to finance and help in the development of models that would be sustainable in the agric space.
Aliu Abduhalib, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL, revealed that the recent recognition of agric financing institutions which are NIRSAL and BOA by CIBN, shows that agriculture financing and risk management is being mainstreamed.
According to Abduhalib, “for CIBN to bring us up to this level to recognize what we do, means that farmers and the agric industry are in for a good time particularly when you combine the capacities of risk management of NIRSAL and the capacity of the BOA to deploy funds to all the value chain actors, you cannot ask for a better match and we are happy. to be recognized by the CIBN”.
NIRSAL’s Managing Director urged people to use the opportunity of the combined resources of bank financing and development financing to promote agriculture business in Nigeria.