By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Ifie Sekibo, has expressed satisfaction with the level of usage of the N2 billion long-term facility it granted Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL) in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).
He said the development has continued to boost job creation in the country.
Based on the bilateral agreement reached by the two parties when the credit was given, TAAL is expected to increase the production capacity of one of its nursery/hatchery unit to 15,000 tonnes at the end of the second phase of the expansion process. The third phase is expected to start in the next three months.
Speaking at a fact-finding mission to the company’s office in Ikeja, Lagos at the weekend, Mr Sekibo said the fund was disbursed to enable TAAL expand its aquaculture businesses- nursery/hatchery for the production of fingerlings and brood stock in Ikeja; and earthen ponds for catfish and tilapia in Asejire, Iwo and Gambari towns in Oyo.
According to him, the disbursement of the N2billion loan and the readiness of Heritage Bank to treat Triton’s application for another credit facility for the third phase expansion is part of the bank’s support to one of the cardinal programmes of the federal government’s administration, which is job creation and diversification.
Mr Sekibo expressed satisfaction with the pace at which the project was going; as he assured the company’s team that Heritage Bank would always strive to support the genuine cause by TAAL to boost the agricultural base of the nation as long as the business relationship between the bank and Triton Aqua is mutually beneficial.
“I want to be sure whatever facility Heritage Bank is giving will add value in terms of cash flow of TAAL. If I have your cash flow as part of your production plan it would make it easy for me to treat your application for credit,” the bank boss said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Aqua Group, Mr Raju Samtani, who led the Heritage Bank delegate round the TAAL’s facilities, assured Mr Sekibo and his team that the project would be complete as initially agreed.
According to him, the farm was fully integrated in aquaculture, poultry and crop production and is a platform to generate employment for teeming youth.
“Triton Farm is designed to train youth in agriculture and create employment, as well as generate wealth. This is the only farm in the whole region that is fully integrated in aquaculture, poultry and crop production,” he said.
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