In spite of the global disruption caused by COVID-19, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Leading (NIRSAL) said it facilitated over N148billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness.
It also aggregated over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on 800,000 hectares of land.
The Managing Director/CEO of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, who stated this in Abuja on Thursday, also revealed that in the course of the last 13 months, the public limited liability company facilitated the flow of over NGN30billion into agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources.
Attributing the success to the huge support by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, prudent management of resources and good corporate governance, the CEO added that as enablers of actors in the agricultural value chain, the company 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.
According to him, ‘’By remaining operational, our numbers grew: As of Q4 2020, we had achieved the following: Facilitated over NGN148billion 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. Enrolled 1.4 million persons onto innovative insurance products designed by NIRSAL in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.’’
Abdulhameed added that the company has also been up to some high-level advocacy, saying that in order to curb the dismal levels of post-harvest losses that Nigeria suffers, and create efficient routes for commodity movement and storage, NIRSAL is 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’’, the CEO explained.
While commending the media for their social responsibility – in helping to drive NIRSAL’s policies and programmes, he said that the company has used the media to communicate its plans and accomplishments to good effect.
He continued, ‘’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 like 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.’’
Abdulhameed said that NIRSAL is a vehicle that promises much to Nigeria and is currently delivering remarkably, advising that distractions from vested interests are unwelcome to the work of supporting the building of a resilient economy in Africa’s most populous nation.