By Nume Ekeghe
In its bid to promote agribusiness, Unity Bank has effectively keyed into various intervention funds by the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost Agriculture thus emerging as one of the leading players in the industry driving the intervention schemes to the tune of N24 billion.
The bank said in statement that its commitment towards participating in the on-lending schemes was borne out its belief in pursuing benefits of greater financial inclusion and reaching out to greater number of farmers all around Nigeria initially excluded with financial services, all of which is made possible by the Bank’s deep knowledge of rural economy.
The bank’s Head of Agribusiness at Unity Bank, Mr. Olugbenga Emmanuel Adelana, said: “It is understandable why the Unity Bank is making inroads and being reckoned with when it comes to disbursing the intervention funds. The key beneficiaries which the intervention programmes are designed for ply their agribusiness mostly in the rural areas and this is a space that Unity Bank has not shied away from.
“Unity Bank is therefore unleashing the strength of its business model and placing its structures at the disposal of the intervention schemes in its bid to support government’s key initiatives to drive the growth and transformation of Nigeria’s Agricultural economy.”
Unity Bank is currently the 4th largest provider of single digit interest loans (9% max) to Agribusinesses under the CBN’s Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS); with a CACS loan portfolio of over N24billion it states.
CACS is a sub-component of the Federal Government of Nigeria Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (CADP) and it is aimed at promoting commercial agricultural enterprises in Nigeria. The scheme targets the promotion/production of cash crops, food crops, poultry, livestock, aquaculture, processing, storage, farm in-put supplies and marketing for agricultural commercial enterprises with asset base of N50million to N100million.
Unity Bank has been consistent in its support to farmers. In June, 2017, it executed a channel partnership agreement with Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, to provide a platform for disbursement of loans to farmers; targeting over 9,000 farmers for Rice, Maize and Wheat across seven states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna and Adamawa States.
The Bank is also active in the CBN’s Anchor Borrower Scheme, having disbursed over N1.6Billion to 11,000 wheat farmers in Jigawa and Sokoto States thus providing raw materials for flour millers and invariably supporting the federal government’s import substitution policy.