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Union Bank, Sterling Bank Give NIRSAL N232m for Poultry, Cocoa

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NIRSAL

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has secured about N232 million loans from Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Sterling Bank Plc to finance poultry production and cocoa export in Nigeria.

Part of the credit facility has been disbursed by NIRSAL to Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited, a livestock producing firm and TOAJ Nigeria Limited, a cocoa dealing firm located in Cross River State.

This was initiated in a bid to promote the vision of transforming the economy, delivering inclusive growth and positively impacting the lives of Nigerians.

According to the Managing Director of NIRSAL Plc, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, this leverage on the Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG), an instrument the organization utilises to share agribusiness risks with financiers.

Mr Abdulhamed disclosed that the body facilitated the approval and disbursement of N81.8 million sourced from Union Bank and N150 million from Sterling Bank, respectively to the poultry production and cocoa export firms.

According to the NIRSAL boss, Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited will use its N81.8 million term loan to finance the purchase of 25,000 Point of Lay, 25,000 capacity battery cages and feeding compliments.

TOAJ Nigeria Limited, on its part, will channel its N150 million export or trade finance facility towards the sourcing and purchase of cocoa for export.

The financing (N231.8 million) is set to boost the poultry and cocoa value chains in the state and is expected to generate significant gains for the local and national economies.

The injection of these funds into the poultry and cocoa value chains in Cross River State will create a positive knock-on effect for players along each segment of both value chains and the agribusinesses’ host communities at large.

Specifically, the purchase of 25,000 Point of Lay birds by Gbagolo Integrated Farms will impact poultry feeds sellers and other input suppliers in the pre upstream value chain segment, producers, sellers of point of lay birds in the upstream segment, and consumers of eggs and spent layers in the downstream segment.

Also, the TOAJ facility will support the thousands of farmers who supply its inventory by providing them with a secure, sustainable, and guaranteed off-take market.

Furthermore, the export of cocoa will increase Nigeria’s post in the global cocoa market and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

NIRSAL reiterated that it was set to positively impact both the lender and the borrower, as well as the overall economy, indicating that the lender invests safely and earns competitive returns, the borrower’s capacity utilization and productivity is increased, and the economy reaps the benefits of the diffident addition caused by increased local production at the expense of importation of essential goods.

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MTN Assures Nigerians Affordable Financial Services as MoMo PSB Begins Operations

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MoMo PSB

By Adedapo Adesanya

MTN Nigerian Communications Plc has announced that its fintech subsidiary, MoMo PSB Limited, has formally commenced commercial operations in the country.

In a notice on Thursday at the Nigerian Exchange, MTN said the development followed a successful pilot initiated on May 16, 2022, in commemoration of the launch of its GSM operations on May 16, 2001, and listing by introduction on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on May 16, 2019.

“Indeed, this is a key milestone in delivering the company’s Ambition 2025 strategic priorities,” the notice said.

The company said with an expansive agent network of over 166,000 active agents and digitized partnership infrastructure, MoMo PSB “is poised to enable millions of unbanked and under-banked Nigerians to access a wide range of financial service products.

“MoMo PSB will continue to scale its agent network in order to reach Nigerians across the country and remove friction from everyday payment by digitizing cash payment.

“By dialling *671# on any network, customers can open a MoMo wallet, send money to any phone number in the country and pay their bills.

“In addition, MoMo wallets in the future will enable Nigerians in the Diaspora to send money to any phone number in the country, an important feature given Nigeria’s ranking as the destination for the highest remittance inflow in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr Karl Toriola, appreciated the support and guidance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the process and noted that this will help the country’s financial inclusion.

“This is an important milestone for MTN Nigeria in our mission to support the government’s drive towards financial inclusion in Nigeria. Not just for those in urban centres and markets, but also people in the rural and remote areas of the country who remain excluded from the financial system,” he stated.

On his part, MoMo PSB CEO, Mr Usoro Usoro said: “Providing easy to use, accessible and affordable financial services to all Nigerians is essential to executing the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy and digital inclusion agenda of the Minister of communications and Digital Economy.

“We look forward to playing our part and are excited about the opportunities to partner with relevant institutions across various sectors to co-create and expand access nationwide.”

This is coming on the same day that MTN’s rival, Airtel announced its subsidiary, SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (SmartCash PSB), has commenced operations in Nigeria.

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Airtel Commences SmartCash Payment Operations in Nigeria

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SmartCash Payment

By Adedapo Adesanya

Airtel Africa has announced that its subsidiary, SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (SmartCash PSB), has commenced operations in Nigeria.

Services will initially be available at selected retail touchpoints, and operations will be expanded gradually across the country over the next few months.

Speaking on the development, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa chief executive officer, said, “I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country.

“To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services.”

This is coming less than one month after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted the company the license to operate mobile money services in the country.

The licence will enable the telco to expand its digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not currently have access to traditional financial services.

It will also be able to augment plans by the Nigerian Government, the CBN, and traditional financial institutions to further deepen financial inclusion in the country for the benefit of all citizens and the Nigerian economy.

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services with a presence in 14 countries across Africa.

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Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank Introduces Education Loans

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Advans La Fayette

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading microfinance bank supporting small businesses, Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank Limited, has introduced education loans aimed to provide funding support to school owners and parents.

A statement from the small lending institution said the education loan products created for its customers are the Advans School Boost, Advans Eduloan and Advans Kiddies.

It was explained that the Advans School Boost is a product designed to provide working and investment capital for school owners, Advans Eduloan is to assist parents to pay their children’s school fees with ease, while the Advans Kiddies is high-yield savings account to help parents save towards the future of their children while still earning interest.

According to the Marketing and Communication Manager of Advans La Fayette MFB, Mr Kayode Abraham, “The process of accessing the education loans is neither rigorous nor daunting.”

“Simply visit our website: www.advansnigeria.com to complete the application form and receive the funds immediately, if eligible,” he advised.

The Project Manager of Advans La Fayette MFB, Ms Fanny Belhomme, stated that, “Advans School Boost allows school owners to access loans up to N75 million to cover school expenses. The loan has a very competitive interest rate, a flexible repayment plan and no hidden costs.

“Parents can access up to N500,000 with the Advans Eduloan, to pay their children’s school fees. The loan is easy to access, with a low-interest rate and flexible repayment plans,” she added.

The Managing Director of the lender, Mr Gaëtan Debuchy, while speaking at the unveiling of the products at the Shoregate Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, disclosed that the firm came up with the loan packages because “we recognised that lack of finance is one of the biggest banes of education.”

“Emboldened by the fact that investment in quality education yields the best dividend, we created these products to offer solutions to the challenge. As a leading microfinance bank, we are focused on providing premium financial services to our customers,” he added.

Advans Nigeria is a member of Advans Group; a leading international microfinance group currently serving over 1.1 million clients in 10 countries including Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia and Myanmar.

For more than 15 years, the bank has offered a complete range of financial services that has helped build over 4 million small businesses.

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