AS the 3-Day NEXIM Bank, South-South Enlightenment and Engagement Forum holding in Asaba enters day, the Managing Director of Nigeria Incentives-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, yesterday urged NEXIM Bank and other financial institutions to ensure they provide financing to all the various segments of the production value chain to encourage and promote MSME”s in the country.
Addressing participants at the forum, Abdulhameed said the major challenge with the MSME’s, particularly the agriculture sector was that participating farmers were scattered and not in clusters to make for easy financing.
Saying that NIRSAL has identified 19 agricultural commodities that farmers could engage in and form Geo- cooperative by acquiring enough hectares to enable the agency give them the needed support and financing, he said the agency which was created four years ago has financed projects to the tune of N121 billion as at 2019 without recording any loss.
He said: “A Geo-cooperative model will enable the farmers to grow a single commodity, process the commodity and get a single buyer, this makes it easier to finance.
“It is not just enough to have potential, we need to have the reality on the ground, NEXIM Bank and Bank of Industry must ensure that availability of raw materials so that there will be processing and exportation.
“You cannot have a successful export except you have the production and if you finance the farmers and all the four actors along the value chain; Pre-upstream, Upstream, Midstream and downstream, there will be a success”.
To this end, He told MSME’s that produce the same commodity to form a Geo-cooperative for ease of financing by the agency.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN, Mr Tony Okpanachi, said the bank has in the past 18 months disbursed a total sum of N133 billion to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) in Nigeria.
Okpanachi who was represented by Mr Bona Okhaimo, Chief Operating Officer of the Bank, said no fewer than 100, 000 MSME’s in the country benefited from the N133 billion through Participating Financial Institutions, PFI.
He said they have the reach out to access 120 US dollars to drive investments in the country as a financial institution, adding that the bank provides access to MSME’s that braced up to the ethics and standards on investment in all sectors of the economy including the non-oil sector.
Officials of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and the Bank of Agriculture, BOA,
were among other agencies who took their tone to talk to the participants on investment standardization and export guidelines and regulations.