15% of Sterling Bank Total Loans Portfolio Invested in Agric—CEO

November 3, 2022
Sterling Bank total loans portfolio

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The chief executive of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, has disclosed that more than N100 billion, which represents about 15 per cent of the bank’s total loans portfolio, has been invested in the Nigerian agricultural sector.

Speaking at the Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2022 in Lagos, the bank executive assured that the lender would invest more in the industry because of its firm belief in the ecosystem despite the glaring challenges, including climate change, which has increased flooding in the country.

He said apart from the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), no other financial institution has committed its resources to agricultural financing like Sterling Bank.

According to him, agriculture is one of the five sectors of the economy that the bank has focused its investments since 2018 as part of her HEART of Sterling strategy, saying the others are health, education, transportation, and renewable energy.

“When we started the journey about five years ago, we were very clear in our minds that we did not just want to make it a talk show, and we have been changing the focus of the conversation from moving away from identifying problems to providing solutions, and now we are bringing stakeholders together in a bid to effectively move the conversation forward with action.

“We started it because we wanted to focus on agricultural financing where there was a significant gap. Every time we meet a stakeholder or a regulator, we noticed a different perspective of what the problem is and, therefore, it became clear to us that if we do not bring all the stakeholders together to harmonise their views and understanding, we will continue to remain in the dark,” Mr Suleiman said at the event themed Engineering a Trillion Dollar Agricultural Economy.

The CEO noted that the summit became imperative as part of the global conversation on food security due to the consequences of global trade, which was so obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a global disruption in the supply chain.

“So, this conversation about food security in Africa is one that we will continue to sponsor because of its existential purpose, which is about leveraging our competitive advantage,” he said.

ASA is one of the continent’s leading, privately funded platforms dedicated to increasing the value of the agribusiness value chain by creating a convergence of private and public sector interests, development finance institutions, agribusiness investors and players.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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