Speaking at an event during the weekend, marking the release of N232 million to Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited and TOAJ Nigeria Limited, Managing Director of NIRSAL Plc, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, said it had so far disbursed over N128 billion for agriculture and agribusiness activities in the country since it was established about 10 years ago.
TOAJ Nigeria Limited, for investment in poultry production and cocoa export value chains in Cross River State, were sourced from Union Bank and Sterling Bank Plc.
Leveraging on its Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG), an instrument that NIRSAL Plc utilises to share agribusiness risks with financiers, Abdulhameed said, “NIRSAL facilitated the approval and disbursement of N81.8 million and N150 million from Union Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc, respectively, while Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited will use its N81.8 million term loan to finance the purchase of 25,000 Point of Lay, 25,000 capacity battery cages and feeding compliments, TOAJ Nigeria Limited will channel its N150 million export/trade finance facility towards the sourcing and purchase of cocoa for export.
He said a few weeks ago, NIRSAL supported ADT Russet Limited in Lagos with 50 per cent credit guarantee on a N1.15 billion facility to source and export cocoa beans.
Abdulhameed said as a guarantor, “NIRSAL Plc intervention positively impacts both the lender and the borrower, as well as the overall economy, implying that the lender invests safely and earns competitive returns; the borrower’s capacity utilization and productivity are increased, and the economy reaps the benefits of the backward integration occasioned by increased local production at the expense of importation of essential goods.”
He said TOAJ Nigeria Limited’s facility would support thousands of farmers who supply its inventory by providing them with a secure, sustainable, and guaranteed off take market. Furthermore, the export of cocoa would increase Nigeria’s stake in the global cocoa market and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings, he stated.
According to the managing director of Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited, Mr. Vincent Egbona, the company’s poultry unit, which received the credit support, has 60,000 birds and runs an on-farm feed mill with four tons capacity mixer per hour.
On his part, managing director, TOAJ Nigeria Limited, Mr. Taiwo Sunday, said NIRSAL’s support had helped the company to acquire a 5,000 MT-capacity warehouse in Osogbo as the company expanded its frontiers to the South-west for the purpose of export. Sunday said with NIRSAL’s support, it could now engage more farmers, procure more cocoa, and employ more staff.
Beyond the credit risk guarantee provided to Gbagolo Farms, NIRSAL was also offering technical assistance and round-the-clock project monitoring, a package that really made lending to agriculture and agribusiness easy.
Sterling Bank Plc, financiers of TOAJ Nigeria Limited, who had as representative at the launch its Business Executive, Commercial, Southeast, Mr. Uchenna Agbowo, said at 10 per cent interest, Sterling Bank had the highest loan book for agriculture among commercial banks in Nigeria.