The managing director of the Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation, NAIC, Mrs. Folashade Joseph has stressed the importance of taking insurance by investors in the agriculture sector, as the risk in the Industry is usually high.
In her opening remarks at the 3 day Capacity Building workshop for Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, CACS for agriculture desk officers of commercial banks in Lagos, Joseph said the deposit money banks and other financial institutions have been NAIC’s major distribution channel over the years.
She said the deposit money banks serves as credit providers, while NAIC acts as risk management service provider.
According to her, NAIC as a major stakeholder in the Central Bank of Nigeria CACS initiative has repositioned herself to improve on her product offerings and services with her vision of “remaining the pioneer and leader in the agro-investment risk management sphere” in Nigeria.
Risk management remains an integral part of any modern day agricultural financing model , as such the Central Bank of Nigeria has deemed it fit to ensure that any agricultural investor accessing the CACS facility must have the project insured by NAIC as stated in the current lending guidelines for the CACS loan.
This she noted is to protect the project from failing due to unforeseen risks, adding, “This capacity building program is to enlighten the agricultural desk officers of banks on how to implement the risk management component of the CACS.
Furthermore NAIC is committed to forging the appropriate partnerships with deposit money banks in the fulfilment of their mandate by the provision of the appropriate risk management services to the agricultural investors being financed by the banks”.
In his paper at the workshop Mr. Ademuyiwa Adeleke Project Management Office of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said so far the bank has released a total sum of N501.697 billion under the CACS, as at September 2017.
Adeleye disclosed that the fund was deployed to boost 526 agriculture projects across the country adding that total repayment under the scheme was N251.156 billion in respect of 526 projects out of which 281 projects had fully been repaid as at the end of September 2017.
He further noted that outstanding balance with lending banks was N250..541 billion as at September 30, 2017.
Oriental News Nigeria reports that CACS was established by federal government and financed from the proceeds of the N200 billion three year bonds raised by the Debt Management Office, DMO.
The fund is made available to participating banks to finance Commercial Agricultural Enterprises.
Adeleye however expressed disappointment on frequent abuse and negligence of laid down policies and CACS guidelines, pointing that banks have flaunted repatriation of loans and often failed to carry out due diligence of projects before disbursement of loans.
He warned that CBN will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against banks who fail to observe due process.