By Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos, July 4, 2021 The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Plc (NIRSAL) has granted a 50 percent Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) ADT Russet Ltd on its working capital facility worth N1.15 billion.
Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, NIRSAL’s Chief Executive Officer, disclosed this during a facility tour of ADT Russet, a cocoa bean sourcing and export company, on Sunday, in Lagos.
Naija247news reports that the move by NIRSAL aimed to help Nigeria benefit from the over $67-billion-dollar global cocoa market.
NIRSAL Plc is a $500-million-dollar non-bank financial institution wholly-owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), designed to redefine, dimension, measure, re-price and share agribusiness-related credit risk.
Abdulhameed said that by supporting ADT Russet’s operations, NIRSAL had indirectly created a stronger market for the many cocoa farmers who supplied their inventory.
“NIRSAL has provided similar support to another cocoa processing and exporting company in the South-West region, this time in Akure, Ondo state.
“We are happy to yet again demonstrate our willingness and capability to support agro-allied companies across the country.
“Our support will help to grow their businesses, engage small-holder farmers and earn foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy,” he said.
He said that NIRSAL was also monitoring the project efficiently with the aim of boosting ADT Russet’s export volume to 4,000 metric tonnes per annum.
As a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), ADT Russet had leveraged the institution’s support to ship over 1,600 metric tonnes of commodities to international markets, a far cry from its parent company that had been in business for far longer.
He, therefore, counselled banks and more agribusinesses to leverage the institution’s Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG), risk management frameworks, and round-the-clock project monitoring Services.
The CEO said that NIRSAL was known to deliver value and optimum returns on the projects it supported, adding that its track record was responsible for the health of its balance sheet and long-term sustainability.
Mr Charles Eteri, Managing Director, ADT Russet Ltd, commended NIRSAL for its unique role in supporting serious-minded firms.
He lauded its support for business firms, whose operations were contributing to Nigeria’s quest for economic growth and diversification.
“My foray into agro exports have been successful, and the potentials for growth owing to NIRSAL Plc’s innovative support are enormous,” Eteri said.
He also expressed satisfaction over NIRSAL’s value chain approach to agribusiness financing, pledging to contribute to the sustenance of the cocoa value chain by dealing fairly with the smallholder farmers who supplied his inventory.
Mr Olaniran Olayinka, Regional Head, Keystone Bank, wondered why other banks had not keyed into the money-making venture.
Where there is a strong intention to support national priorities, like in Keystone Bank, de-risked and structured agribusiness projects become an even more compelling business proposition, he said.
“Deposit Money Banks do not need to be coerced into financing agriculture, as structured value chains and de-risked projects will naturally, and on their own merit, attract any profit-seeking business entity.
“The tripartite relationship between NIRSAL Plc, ADT Russet Ltd. and Keystone Bank, is part of the growing outcomes of NIRSAL Plc’s high-level engagements with Deposit Money Banks and Merchant Banks.
“It is also the same with Finance Houses, MDAs and local and international Development Finance Institutions, wooing them into an agriculture/agribusiness space that is witnessing paradigmatic changes on account of NIRSAL’s work,” he said.
He Olayinka, who was represented by Mr John Chukwu, Divisional Head, Keystone Bank, Lagos Island Branch, noted that over the years, NIRSAL had facilitated the flow of more than N150 billion into agriculture from multiple sources.
He stated that at least N124 billion of that amount came from commercial banks who leveraged NIRSAL’s CRG facility, in addition to investing in de-risked, structured, and well-monitored projects to reap high investment returns.