The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has facilitated over N148billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness.
Similarly, the outfit also aggregated over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on nearly 800,000 hectares of land.
The body also enrolled 1.4 million persons onto innovative insurance products it designed in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.
NIRSAL Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Aliyu A. Abdulhameed, who stated this Thursday at a media parley in Abuja, said the feat was achieved between 2015 and 2020.
He said: “In the course of the last 13 months, we facilitated the flow of over NGN30billion 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.”
The NIRSAL boss further said: “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).
“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.”
While giving kudos to the media for support at the body’s critical moment, Abdulhameed said the organization had “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.
“We have had detractors, as many others in a highly competitive society do. While we welcome competition, we hope that the malicious lies and blackmails will cease, especially with support from you – our partners in the media.
“We as a people cannot afford to derail NIRSAL. It is a vehicle that promises 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.”