- Unity Bank Promotes Agric Scheme With N24bn Loan
Unity Bank Plc says it has disbursed N24bn to farmers through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme introduced by the Federal Government.
The lender noted that it had effectively keyed into the various intervention funds of the Central Bank of Nigeria to boost agriculture.
It said it had emerged as one of the leading players in the industry driving the intervention schemes, as a bank that drives agribusiness as its major strategic business focus.
In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said, “The commitment of the bank towards participating in the on-lending schemes is borne out of Unity Bank’s 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 Head, Agribusiness, Unity Bank, Mr. Olugbenga Adelana, was quoted to have 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”.
He added, “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.”
According to the statement, Unity Bank is currently the fourth largest provider of single-digit interest loans (nine per cent maximum) to agribusiness under the CBN’s Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.
The bank put its CACS loan portfolio at over N24bn.
The CACS is a sub–component of the Federal Government’s Commercial Agriculture Development Programme 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 N50m to N100m.
Unity Bank said it had 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 to provide a platform for disbursement of loans to farmers; targeting over 9,000 farmers for rice, maize and wheat across seven states.
The bank said it was also active in the CBN’s Anchor Borrower Scheme, having disbursed over N1.6bn to 11,000 wheat farmers in Jigawa and Sokoto states.
This, it said, had led to the provision of raw materials for flour millers and invariably supporting the federal government’s import substitution policy.