The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending NIRSAL announced on Sunday that it would release further funds to farmers following approvals by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The assurance was given by Anne Ihugba, NIRSAL’s new Head, Corporate Communications who stressed that NIRSAL is committed to disbursement of farmers’ funds approved by the CBN within 5days of receipt of loan term sheets from the apex bank.
Providing clarification to media enquiries regarding alleged delays in the disbursement of loans to some applicants, she also assured that, as always, farmers under the NIRSAL Participating Financial Institution (PFI) window of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Program, who comply with the conditions precedent to drawdown can have access to their credited account’s after meeting such conditions.
“This is in line with NIRSAL’s policy stance to always expedite the funds access process of all applicants who have met conditions precedent to draw down,” Ihugba stated in a statement.
“NIRSAL observes the highest ethical and professional standards and 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.”
According to her, CBN, through the NIRSAL window of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is creating over 250,000 direct jobs for farmers and up to 1.25m indirect jobs.
She stated that as a registered PFI for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, NIRSAL takes its 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.
She emphasized that as an Agricultural Finance risk management organization, NIRSAL is mindful of the various risks associated with yield and repayment capacity of the farmers.
She said NIRSAL has 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.
“These additional services are provided to farmers at NIRSAL’s own cost,” Ihugba further explained.
She added 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 objectives of the Federal Government’s CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.”
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja