The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) says it is releasing further funds to farmers this week under its window of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
In a statement, the NIRSAL said that its mandate is yielding results, and that the ABP is creating over 250,000 direct jobs for farmers and up to 1.25 million indirect jobs. It added that it is fully committed to timely disbursements into farmers’ accounts.
NIRSAL specifically provided clarifications regarding alleged delays in the disbursement of loans to some applicants, saying that those who comply with the conditions precedent to drawdown do have access to their credited accounts within 5 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.
Furthermore, the corporation stated that as a registered PFI for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, it takes it as a responsibility to ensure timely disbursement to farmers very seriously, as this helps to ensure timely repayment of loans which is also a critical component of its mandate.
“As an agricultural finance risk management organization, 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.
NIRSAL as a CBN-owned company assures Nigerian farmers of timely and adequate support in order to meet the stated objectives of the Federal Government’s CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.