NIRSAL Facilitates Fresh N30bn Investments In Agric Sector

The Nigeria Incentive -Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending said it facilitated the flow of over N30bn into the agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources.

The Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed said this during a chat with journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

He said though its operations suffered a stall during the covid-19 induced lockdown of 2020, the agency’s technological depth gave it a pathway to return to work while ensuring members of staff remain safe.

The NIRSAL Boss also said it was important to continue, even increase, food and raw materials production as the pandemic bit harder.

He said, “In the course of the last 13 months, we facilitated the flow of over N30bn into agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources.

“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, the NIRSAL MD said the agency recorded a lot of progress during the 2020 fiscal period.

For instance, Abdulhameed said NIRSAL facilitated over N148bn in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness and aggregated over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on nearly 800,000 hectares of land.

He also said NIRSAL had enrolled 1.4 million persons onto innovative insurance products designed by it in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.

He 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.

“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.”

In terms of balance sheet size, he said the management had grown it to N140bn, with equity by 1,415 per cent and total assets by 87 per cent.

He said the number of farmers being worked with has also grown, especially as it fully unveiled the Agro Geo-Cooperative model last year.