Heritage Bank, Gezawa to Ease Agro Commodity Trading
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A partnership aimed to facilitate the ease of agro commodity trading in a more structured way, especially with the closeness to the Dawanu, the largest grain market in Africa, has been signed between Heritage Bank and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange (GCMX).
It is believed that this collaboration will make the Nigerian agricultural sector witness a huge growth and revolutionise agricultural value-chain by providing fully integrated ecosystem for commodity exchange.
As part of the deal, Heritage Bank has been appointed as the Lead Settlement Bank and Transaction Adviser to the exchange.
Recently, over 10,000 farmers in 3000 cooperatives in the 44 local governments of Kano States were hosted at the 2nd GCMX Farmers’ Cooperative Forum.
The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Ifie Sekibo, who was a panellist at the event, explained that the partnership was targeted to de-risk the sector that would bring about structured and enhanced agro-business and attain food security that leads to economic development.
Mr Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Jude Monye, explained that the partnership which would help bridge the huge gap associated to risk, will fast track effective price discovery mechanism and traceability and enhanced trade settlement services.
Specifically, the bank’s helmsman stated that under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Heritage Bank would provide on-lending funding to aggregated farmers in the 2020 farming season to grow various products that will serve as raw materials to the processors, thereby ensuring market linkages and access to the market as well as reduce importation and conserve Nigeria’s external reserves.
According to him, with its assigned position Heritage Bank would play a pivotal role in ensuring that there would be an effective and readily available platform for market linkages among players in the agribusiness value chain, involving FMCGs, warehouse operators, collateral managers, processors, farmers’ cooperatives to transact in a seamless way that guarantee quality, quantity, payment and delivery.
Speaking the event, the ED/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo affirmed that the initiative would help foster diversification of non-oil export trade.
He, however, stated that NEPC would ensure that the primary for the signing of the MoU would be achieve, whilst calling for the need to ensure adequate and seamless supply of agricultural commodities for the business to be sustainable.
The Gezawa Project Consultant, Binchang Binfa, Managing Director of Makarios Global Resource, disclosed, “the ultimate goal was to unlock the vast potential of agricultural value chain via partnerships and synergy with likeminded enterprises, organisations and institutions that will mutually create wealth, generate local employment and contribute significantly to the economic growth and GDP the nation.”
He stated that the Exchange would provide services on price discovery and transparency, increase foreign exchange earning capacity, commodity storage and warehouse receipt system, employment generation of 15, 000 direct and indirect jobs, investment opportunities, increase in non-oil export, ease of doing business, weather report, soil test report, as well as 24/7 online trading of commodities on alive trading platform.