The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) says it facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness in the country in 2020.
Similarly, in the last 13 months, NIRSAL facilitated the flow of over N30 billion into agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources.
The Managing Director/CEO of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, who disclosed this in Lagos on Thursday at a media interactive session, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s pro-agricultural policies and the Central Bank of Nigeria for possessing the flex to develop and roll out intervention schemes for present-day challenges.
He said:“Even though our operations suffered a stall during the lockdown of 2020, our technological depth gave us a pathway to return to work while remaining safe and socially-distanced.
“As you know, it was important to continue, even increase, food and raw materials production as the pandemic bit harder.
“As enablers of actors in the agricultural value chain, we remained operational for those who were allowed by the Federal Government to move around for the purpose of producing food and rendering essential services in the society.
“By remaining operational, our numbers grew: as at Q4 2020, we had achieved the following: Facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness.’’
Abdulhameed also said NIRSAL aggregated more than 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on nearly 800,000 hectares of land nationwide.
On NIRSAL’s mandate of de-risking agriculture and agribusiness investments with credit risk guarantees, the Managing Director disclosed that 1.4 million people had been enrolled onto innovative insurance products designed by the organization in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.
“We have also been up to some high-level advocacy. To curb the dismal levels of post-harvest losses that Nigeria suffers, and create efficient routes for commodity movement and storage, we are engaging with and supporting the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment in the development of a policy on Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport and Storage Corridors (SATS-C), ‘’ Persecondnews quotes the NIRSAL boss as saying.
He said the company was sufficiently tooled and mandated to take Nigeria out of stagnation as far as the economy was concerned.
While pursuing our mandate that translates to positively impacting Nigeria’s economy, we have been building a world-class corporate entity too.
“In the past year, we further improved NIRSAL’s structure and systems maintained compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards and successfully implemented the Balanced Scorecard performance management approach to tap the best from our talented employees.
“Along the line, we have grown our balance sheet to NGN140billion, our equity by 1,415% and our total assets by 87%. The number of farmers we have worked with has also grown, especially as we fully unveiled our Agro Geo-Cooperative model in the outgone year,’’ Abdulhameed told the newshounds.
On NIRSAL partnership with the media, he said:“In staking our claim for where we belong in this economy, the media is an indispensable partner. For this reason, our corporate strategies every year include nurturing our relationship with the media so that NIRSAL can be represented truly and fairly at all times.
“We have used the media to communicate our plans and accomplishments to good effect. More people now know NIRSAL and what it stands for better than ever before.
“Your being here is so that we can continue to amplify our reach across the length and breadth of this country with your partnership.
“We have had detractors, as many others in a highly competitive society. While we welcome competition, we hope that the malicious lies and blackmails would cease, especially with support from you – our partners in the media.’’ Abdulhameed stressed.
He added:“We as a people cannot afford to derail NIRSAL. It is a vehicle that promises so much to Nigeria, and is currently delivering remarkably. Distractions from vested interests are unwelcome to our work of supporting the building of a resilient economy in Africa’s most populous nation.
“You are critical to the safety and growth of this nation. What you allow to thrive in Nigeria’s media space becomes what shapes our common destiny. We feel compelled to prevail on you to reflect us in a light that is true, fair and progressive.’’
Established in January 2016, NIRSAL is a brainchild of a brave, high-level public-private consensus with a commitment to delivering Nigeria’s small holder farmers out of poverty by fixing, optimizing and linking agricultural value chains.