NIRSAL, Moroccan bank ink deal to boost agric productivity

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NIRSAL, Moroccan bank seal deal to promote agricultureThe Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and the Credit Agricole Du Maroc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a view to promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development of the agriculture sectors of both countries through the facilitation of finance and investment, trade and support systems across agricultural value chains, with emphasis on smallholder farmers.

A statement said during a state visit to Nigeria in 2016 by the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, there was a pact between NIRSAL Plc and CAM, forming part of 15 bilateral agreements signed by the king and Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), on behalf of their countries.

Six years later, NIRSAL Plc and CAM met again at the head office of the latter in Rabat to review activities under the agreement and rekindle the partnership, it further said.

On behalf of their institutions, Managing Director/CEO of NIRSAL Plc, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, and the Chairman of the Management Board of Credit Agricole Du Maroc (CAM), Mr Tariq Sijilmassi, signed the MOU,  committing to the mutual prospecting and implementation of agriculture-oriented projects that would benefit both organisations and their host countries. During the MOU signing event, Mr Abdulhameed elaborated NIRSAL Plc’s areas of need to include the development of financing products that suited the seasonality of agriculture and other farming contexts, stressing the difficulties experienced by smallholders in keeping to the terms of conventional bank financing products.

The statement noted that Abdulhameed was confident that innovative financing products would help agriculture financiers to maximise the benefits and incentives in the 75 per cent Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) issued by NIRSAL Plc for primary production projects, as well as Interest Drawbacks (IDB) of up to 40 per cent that diligent borrowers could enjoy.

Leveraging NIRSAL’s CRG facility, commercial lenders in Nigeria have injected over N152.8 billion into the agriculture sector in the last six years, with credit crystallisation rate still below 1 per cent, the statement noted.

Beyond its agricultural expertise, CAM is also involved in several other financing projects, particularly in rural areas, through its network of 543 branches across the Kingdom of Morocco. With special abilities in the design and deployment of products and services that are tailored to customers’ needs, CAM has ingrained itself into the very fabric of Moroccan life whilst holding an equally sizable portfolio abroad. Consequently, through its sixty-year existence, the bank has granted over $10 billion in loans, making a profit of $430 million, it added.

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