Nigerian banks begin distribution of agricultural funds
Several Nigerian banks have started distributing funds to agricultural dealers as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2011.Several Nigerian banks have started distributing funds to agricultural dealers as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2011.
A total of 11 financial institutions are participating in the scheme, which will see N30 billion (€146 million) distributed for agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers for the 2012 season, Vanguard reports.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Group Managing Director of Access Bank and Chairman of the Bankers' Committee Sub-Committee on Economic Development, said the move shows the banking sector is committed to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
"It is noteworthy that if not purchased from the out-growers for distribution to farmers, the seeds would have been wasted or sold for paltry sums thereby resulting in economic losses," he added.
The MoU was agreed upon by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Federal Ministry of Finance and Deposit Money Banks.
Among the banks that signed up to the funding project are Access Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Eco Bank Nigeria and Zenith Bank.
According to data from the World Bank, agriculture accounted for 32.7 percent of Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product in 2007.