The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) last week said it was restating its commitment to the mandate of facilitating seamless flow of affordable financing to all players in the country’s agricultural value chains and pare the risks of financing institutions granting agricultural loans.
NIRSAL was reacting to a lead story last week by business a.m. following this paper’s discovery that a group of Southwest maize farmer cooperative, which had received Central Bank of Nigeria credit mandate for payment of a first tranche sum of N246, 523,120, had not been paid many weeks after.
Although it did not react directly to the cooperative society matter, it simply said it was releasing further funds to farmers during the week under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, a major plank of government massive play on agriculture as a way of diversifying the Nigerian economy.
The CBN created agency said regarding alleged delays in the disbursement of loans to some applicants, those who comply with the conditions precedent to drawdown do have access to their credited accounts within five days of receipt of loan term sheets from the CBN.
It stressed that conditions precedent to drawdown must be met before accounts are credited, adding that it is NIRSAL’s policy stance to always expedite the funds access process of all applicants who have met conditions precedent to drawdown.
NIRSAL in the statement signed by Anne Ihugba, its head of corporate communications, assured farmers that it observes the highest ethical and professional standards, just as it restated that all funds from the CBN are disbursed directly into farmers’ accounts and farmers can access such funds once drawdown conditions have been met.
“As an agricultural finance risk management organisation, NIRSA is mindful of the various risks associated with yield and repayment capacity of the farmers,” the statement read, adding that it has therefore launched the Area Yield Index Insurance – an insurance product tailor-made for farmers and established the Project Monitoring and Remediation Offices (PMROs) nationwide to work closely with farmers throughout the farming cycle to ensure success of its projects, as well as protecting the interest of all verified and bonafide farmers.
It noted that the additional services are provided to farmers at NIRSAL’s own cost.
It stressed that no off-taker will be allowed to hold farmers to ransom as existing clauses of signed tripartite agreements with various off-takers will ensure that farmers will get value for their produce in addition to sanctions for non-performance by off-takers.