Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
Access Bank Plc on Tuesday held a breakfast meeting with farmers and stakeholders in other sectors of the economy in Ibadan with a view to exposing them to its various loans facilities.
The bank’s Group Head, Agricultural Business, David Ajayi, told participants that the bank had loan package for all types of businesses under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial intervention programmes at a single-digit interest rate.
He added that Access Bank also had its intervention programmes geared towards helping farmers and other businesses.
According to him, the bank has $250m available to finance agriculture in Nigeria, stressing that apart from giving the loan, the lender is ready to help farmers to succeed in their businesses to enable them pay back their loans.
Ajayi said, “Nigeria is diversifying away from oil and gas to agriculture and mining. There is a lot of emphasis on agriculture and we want to take it to the next level. At Access Bank, we have a lot of packages for Nigerian farmers irrespective of what aspect of agricultural endeavour they are into. We also do things differently to achieve excellence and demonstrate our commitment to value.
“Under the intervention scheme of the CBN, we have the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises scheme. The maximum amount of loan under such scheme is N50m for an individual farmer. There are agricultural businesses that require much more money; we have the commercial agricultural credit scheme to take care of this. The minimum loan here is N50m while the maximum is N2bn. Despite inflation, such money can finance any agricultural business.
A manager at the Development Finance Office of the CBN in Ibadan, Titilayo Mateso, said the apex bank looked after all the FG’s financial intervention programmes in agriculture, MSMEs, infrastructure, power sector and so on.
“The N220bn MSME Fund, which was launched in 2013 became operational in 2014. Women in business are favoured to receive 60 per cent of the fund at nine per cent interest rate. Most of our interventions are channeled through financial institutions and cooperatives. Access Bank is one of the major stakeholders in the CBN interventions,” Mateso said.
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