Heritage Bank Plc has called on government at all levels and deposit money banks to increase supports in agriculture, as it is the most resilient and important sector of Nigerian economy, despite underwhelming investment in the sector.
The Executive Director of the bank, Jude Monye stated this while delivering a paper, titled, “Bank Experience in Lending to the Real Sector (Agric) of the Economy,” at the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) 2018 Chief Risk Officers Forum Retreat, in Lagos, yesterday.
He disclosed that increased focus on the agriculture sector would contribute to the Job creation objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), as its labour intensive process across the value chain has the potential of creating multiple jobs, create wealth, and increase the sector’s contribution to GDP and foreign exchange earnings
Meanwhile, Monye stressed that the under-performance of the sector is closely tied; amongst other factors; to poor credit access from banks.
On the part of government, he decried that Nigeria’s Agricultural research institutes that are established to drive the sector’s business were underfunded compared to India’s.
“The 2018 budget allocates N54bn and N149bn (US$490m) to the agriculture and rural development ministry for recurrent and capital spending respectively.
“Agricultural research institutes have received an average of N28bn (US$90m) annually over the past five years. The comparable figure for India, with six times the population, is closer to US$2bn,” he stated.
He further noted that the economic recovery and growth plan of the government is heavy on Agriculture and MSMEs as key drivers of the economic diversification plan.
“Successful implementation of the Government’s Recovery Plan provides significant opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and financiers – particularly in the Agro-allied Sector,” Monye affirmed.
The Executive Director added that investments in infrastructure (energy and transportation) are supportive of the Agric-led growth.
He explained that to explore options for de-risking and unlocking bank lending to the Agric sector so as to develop and position the sector for increased contribution to the Nigeria’s GDP and revenues, there is need to Continue regulatory driven intervention funds to increase access to credit at single digit rates and long tenors, Improve knowledge of Banks and Bankers on Agric finance and Agricultural Risk Management through focused capacity building and many others.
Speaking at retreat with theme, “Achieving Economic Diversification for Nigeria via the De-Risking of Lending to the Nigerian Non-oil Sectors, the MD/CEO of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abduhameed, explained that the value chain financing is one of the major problem facing Nigerian agricultural sector.
But, he pointed out that NIRSAL does this by ‘de-risking’ the agricultural financing value chain, building long-term capabilities and institutionalizing agricultural lending through risk sharing with banks, technical capacity building as well as the provision of incentives to encourage bank lending.
According to him, Nigeria is endowed with all the natural resources to thrive in agriculture, but the sector lacks the capital with which to maximally meet the opportunities.
He stated that NIRSAL aims to increase deposit money banks’ lending and other private investment.
Abduhameed disclosed that proposal has been put before the Central Bank of Nigeria for NIRSAL to be recognised as collateral instrument as well as flow instrument, as this would fast track the de-risking of the value chain financing.
Group ED/Agribusiness TGI Group, Farouk Gumel, as one of the panellists, stressed the need to shed more light on banking agriculture rather than de-risking.
He also canvassed for more investments in infrastructure and addressing eco-climate system in the country.
UBA Academy Gets CIBN Accreditation for Excellence in Training, Capacity Building
In recognition of its high standard, quality of human resources development, training and capacity building, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria(CIBN) has certified and awarded UBA Academy the certificate of accreditation in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Competency Framework for the banking industry .
UBA Academy, the dedicated learning and development centre of the Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, was accorded the new recognition of excellence at a ceremony presided over by the President/Chairman of Council of the institute, Dr. Uche Olowu in Lagos on Thursday.
According to the president of the institute, UBA Academy was conferred with the new status having met the rigorous standards set for the delivery of their suites of programmes by the Institute.
The certification follows rigorous assessment exercise carried out by the institute’s Capacity Building Committee, the accreditation agency under the competency framework for the country’s banking and finance industry instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“This Accreditation is an affirmation that UBA Academy has adopted and complied with the minimum assessment standards for programmes run by the organisation, which have gained a label of recognition and distinction,” Olowu said.
According to him the accreditation of UBA Academy would enable its graduates to be eligible for exemptions from various subjects in the banking professional examinations thereby facilitating their completion of the Chartered Banker examination. “This will not only enable them comply with the provisions of the Competency Framework for the banking industry, it will go a long way in the strengthening of the intellectual resources and capabilities available in their institutions,” he concluded.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Bank’s Group Head Human Resources, Mrs Patricia Aderibigbe, while appreciating the recognition conferred on the UBA Academy, said the academy has already embarked on training for the future with digitisation of its training programmes and modules.
“With Ignite, UBA has taken training into the future as we believe that the only way to get the best results and continually stay ahead of the curve is to continually sharpen our most important asset – our people, using mobile technology,” Aderibigbe said.
Aderibigbe promised that UBA Academy will continuously seek improvement in ensuring that it serves the needs of industry in a changing banking industry.
Heritage Bank promotes culture, as winner emerges at 42nd edition of Miss Nigeria
Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking services provider; has partnered with Folio Group, owners of Daily Times, the organizers of the Miss Nigeria beauty pageant to host the 42nd edition of the contest.
Speaking at the grand finale of the contest in Lagos, Mr. Fela Ibidapo, Head of Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank said the bank stands with anything that has to do with culture, adding that the bank is at the fore front of ensuring that it promotes and pushes the Nigerian heritage.
Ibidapo who commended the organisers and the contestants added that the bank would continue to support the contestants and the winner in their various dreams post the event.
Miss Chidinma Leilani Aaron emerged as the 42nd Miss Nigeria from the South East Zone at the keenly contested beauty pageant at the high brow Eko Hotel in Lagos, beating other 17 contestants that were unveiled at the grand finale.
Miss Aaron is a graduate of Business Administration from Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State and is the best graduating student in human resources among her set of enterprise students. She is an entrepreneur, business administrator and a chef and is currently undergoing her National Youth Service at Blencc Solutions Limited, Abuja.
She is also an associate member of IPO-CRM as well as a certified COMPTIA Project Management and a Customer Relationship Management.
The new Miss Nigeria has worked with top brands in television, fashion, hospitality and food industry as a presenter, model, actress and management staff. She has also served as the pioneer female president of the National Association of Business and Management Students of Lead City University chapter.
18 contestants from the six geographical zones of the country made it to the grand finale from which eliminated six to pruned down the number to 12 made up of: Ntan Nton, Egede Lagele, Thomas Mseve, Ameh Munirah, Otunba Ifunaya, and Shitta Remilekun.
Others are Tizhe Usa Miriam, Okudili Odinaka Doris, Agida Stephanie, Ugwu Ijeoma, Aaron Chidinma Leilani, and Dunu Chisom Olivia.
This was subsequently later reduced to five by the panel of judges made up of Rita Dominic, Jasmine Tukur, Fade Ogunro, Tatiana Moussalli among others, from which Miss Aaron emerged.
The five finalists were Dunu Chisom, Ntan Sharon Nton, Ameh Munirah, Agida Stephanie and Aaron Chidinma Leilani. Dunu emerged the first runner-up while Ameh was named the second runner-up.
Miss Aaron, the winner of the pageant, took home N3 million from Heritage Bank. She takes over the crown from Mildred Ehiguese who won the 2017 edition.
The Miss Nigeria beauty pageant started in 1957 as a photo contest. Contestants posted photographs of themselves to the Daily Times headquarters in Lagos where finalists were shortlisted and were invited to compete in the live final. A UAC employee, Grace Oyelude won the maiden edition of Miss Nigeria and used part of her £200 prize money to travel to England to study Nursing.
Zamfara Govt Orders Animal Sellers To Take Pictures With Their Animals
The directive was issued by the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Dankande, on Friday in Gusau during a meeting with animal dealers and transporters.
He said that the move became necessary to check activities of rustlers who had continued to find their ways to market to sell stolen animals.
He said, the state government would station photographers at approved animal markets who would take pictures of all intending animal sellers after they had been screened and confirmed as the rightful owners of such animals by the market authorities.
The commissioner said that the state government would work in partnership with security agents to carry out the new policy which would ensure that bandits and cattle rustlers were frustrated from moving with stolen animals.
“This picture will not exempt any animal seller throughout the state; the seller must carry along his government approved picture with his animal, be it cow, donkey, camel, sheep or horse, ” he said.
Dankandeo said that the order also affected movement with large amount of fresh meat, usually transported by motorcyclists from one location to another, especially in the villages, saying such meat must also be cleared by the authorities.
He said that the order would become effective from next Monday, Dec. 10 and that any animal dealer, transporter or traditional ruler found violating it would face the full wrath of the law.
The Emir of Bungudu, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, commended the initiative and attributed the proliferation of the animal business by bandits to the support the rustlers received from middle men at such markets.
He urged the state government to closely monitor activities of middle men through the new measure.
The state Chairman of Animals Transporters Association, Alhaji Garba Gusau, expressed his members’ commitment to exposing any suspicious rustler, but appealed for security cover for the safety of his members.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state has suffered from the hands of bandits, kidnappers and rustlers for over five years with both the state and the Federal Government introducing various security measures to control the menace.
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