By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, (NIRSAL PLC) has facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja. He said that NIRSAL, a wholly-owned corporation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) facilitated over N30 billion into the sector between January last year to date.
He said that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted the global economy last year, his organization had to continue working, saying, “the stomach does not know whether there is pandemic or not.”
According to him, “In the course of the last 13 months, we facilitated the flow of over N30 billion into agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources.
“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 fourt quarter 2020 (Q4 2020), we had achieved the following: Facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness; aggregated over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on nearly 800,000 hectares of land; and enrolled 1.4 million persons onto innovative insurance products designed by NIRSAL in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.”
The NIRSAL boss added that the organization had grown its balance sheet to N140 billion, equity by 1,415% and total assets by 87% through prudent management of its resources.