Ecobank Nigeria Partners NIRSAL, Unveils N70bn Agric Financing Scheme

Ecobank Nigeria says it has entered into a strategic partnership with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) with a N15bn agricultural investment scheme, the first tranche of an agricultural value chain financing.
Announcing the partnership in Lagos during a business meeting with the management of NIRSAL, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan also disclosed that Ecobank Nigeria had concluded plans to invest at least N70bn in agriculture financing within the next three years.
The N15bn dedicated funding with NIRSAL guarantee, he noted, is for an initial takeoff tranche and rollovers will be done at the completion of each cycle.
“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.” he noted.
Further, Akinwuntan noted that with a larger African footprint than any other bank in the world operating in West, Central, East and Southern Africa, Ecobank is the only bank that spans 36 African countries yet operates a truly integrated African network.
“Ecobank’s unique and largest pan-African platform is designed to help unlock the opportunities of the continent and for the continent, through standardization, fuelling regional integration, trade, and investment across borders. Due to our sterling performance, we have been severally recognized; Most recently as ‘Best Retail Bank in Africa 2019’ at African Banker Awards and also as Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Africa 2019 by Brand Africa 100”.
Also speaking, Managing Director/CEO of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed urged Ecobank to harness the opportunities available in financing the agric sector, leveraging on NIRSAL’s template of geo-cooperatives of 250Ha with a ticket size as much as N65m, where all the players in the agricultural value chain are locked-in with an end-to-end approach and near zero cash handling system under a de-risked ecosystem to optimize agricultural value chain financing. He stated that this unique approach to agribusiness creates value for both farmers and financiers.
According to him, NIRSAL works “primarily to create value for both financiers and farmers. 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.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, when he received the board of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), led by its chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh recently, sought the collaboration of the group to “institute a special fund to develop agriculture, which will cement its legacy as a bank that helped to transform this region’s economic fortunes.”

Photo caption: Patrick Akinwuntan, managing director, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, in a warm handshake with Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director/CEO, NIRSAL during a business visit of NIRSAL Management to Ecobank Head office in Lagos.