First Bank Offers New Range Of Products To Support Agribusinesses

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Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has offered a range of products and services designed to help agricultural businesses yield better results in the country.

The bank’s products are targeted at developing the agriculture sector and other agric schemes introduced by the federal government. Some of the products include; the Maize Aggregation Scheme (MAS), Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility (NESF), Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, and Export Facilitation Initiative (EFI) among others.

Speaking at the second edition of the agric expo organized by the bank, the Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said First Bank commenced operations over 124 years ago with a major strategic focus on financing agricultural development, as well as enabling farmers and agro-businesses.

He said the expo is indicative of the bank’s commitment to increasingly collaborate with public and private sector partners to fully restore the prime role of the agricultural sector as the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.

Adeduntan said “I am pleased to note that agricultural financing across all value chains remains a core part of our business today. Following our priority as a continuous financier of credit-worthy agro-allied businesses, our team of dedicated agricultural professionals specialising in various fields of agriculture is strategically located to identify and support agricultural enterprises covering all regions of Nigeria, with a suite of customised sector and customer friendly agricultural financing solutions.

“FirstBank has a large base of existing small, medium, and commercial agribusiness clients across Nigeria operating in all segments of the agricultural value chain covering primary production, storage, processing, packaging, and agro-export, amongst others”.

“First Bank has supported over 23 per cent of all the enterprises supported by all the banks put together. The projects spread across input supplies, primary production, processing, and marketing. Obligors include small, medium, and large scale enterprise in the agricultural value chain.”

“In addition, following the policy for playing down on importation of some of the commodities and encouragement of exportation of agricultural commodities, First Bank is at the forefront of adopting the supportive schemes newly introduced by the Central Bank, like the Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facilities (NESF)”, he concluded.

Globally, the agricultural sector plays a pivotal role in the development of the economy of every country. The Nigeria agricultural policy provides among others, adequate financing for agriculture. The primary goal of agricultural financing policies in Nigeria is to establish an efficient system of sustainable agricultural financing schemes, programmes, and institutions that could provide micro and macro credit facilities for the small, medium and large scale producers, processors as well as marketers.

The sector contributes 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and employs about 70 per cent of the working population in Nigeria. Agriculture is also the largest economic activity in the rural areas where almost 50 per cent of the population lives.

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