The Management of the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) Ltd has announced a new name for the Bank. The institution will now be known as the Bank of Agriculture Limited (BOA). This follows the requisite administrative and regulatory approvals from supervisory agencies.
According to the Bank’s Management, this is the first step towards a complete rebranding of the Bank. The new corporate identity for the institution will be unveiled soon.
The Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, Dr. Mohammed K. Santauraki says that this is in line with the efforts of the new management to reposition the Bank into becoming an effective and sustainable national agricultural and rural development finance institution.
He recalled that on assumption of office on 27th September, 2010, he laid out his team’s repositioning agenda, which he anchored on Three Direction Points (TDPs); a tripod of modernization, institutional capacity enhancement, and refocusing on the Bank’s key mandates. Dr. Santauraki also outlined corporate rebranding, enhancement of information technology and upgrade of working environment and tools as elements of the modernization program.
Refocusing the Bank, according to the BOA chief executive, would entail reorganizing the bank and improving its processes to ensure effective delivery of agricultural and rural finance services on a sustainable basis to support the President’s national economic development agenda towards achieving the Country’s vision 20:20:20.
He further emphasised the need to improve access to finance, and effectiveness of agricultural and rural development in view of the importance of these sectors to national development, noting that the sector is too important to be left to private sector finance institutions alone.
At 60%, agriculture is the largest employer of labour and also the largest contributor to the national GDP in Nigeria (42%). However, agricultural credit as a percentage of banks’ total credit in Nigeria was 1.4% in 2008 and has averaged 2.4% over the last three years. That is practically 60% of the population getting only 2.4% of the “national finance pie”. There lies the challenge which the Bank of Agriculture is repositioning itself to bridge.
Bank of Agriculture is the nation’s apex agricultural and rural development finance institution. As a development finance institution, it is government owned (CBN 40% and Federal Ministry of Finance 60%), and supervised by Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The Bank was incorporated as Nigerian Agricultural Bank (NAB) in 1973 and in 1978, was renamed Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (NACB).
Subsequently in 2000, it was merged with the People’s Bank of Nigeria (PBN) and took over the risk assets of Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) to become Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank Limited, a name that has always be considered too long and unwieldy.