Access Bank has taken a significant step towards ensuring food security in Nigeria with the launch of its Agric Business Desk. The announcement was made at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos, where it unveiled two new business desks: the Agric Business Desk and the Development Banking Desk.
Nsisak Usoro, Group Head of Commercial Banking, emphasized the bank’s commitment to supporting food security, stating, “Our objective this year, and I believe what we will drive next year, is to support food security. The specific amount allocated for 2024 will be determined towards the end of the year.”
Hadiza Ambursa, Executive Director of Commercial Banking, highlighted the bank’s multifaceted approach to securing funding for agric business customers. She explained, “We leverage various sources of funding to support our agric business customers. This includes accessing intervention funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria, engaging with international entities willing to finance different sectors, such as agriculture. It involves a combination of risk assessment and sustainable funding.”
Emmanuel Makinwa, Team Lead of the Agric Business Desk within the Commercial Banking Division, explained the comprehensive nature of their services, covering the entire agricultural value chain. He stated, “Our services extend beyond just providing finance. We offer advisory services to our customers, a critical component of agribusiness. Additionally, we facilitate market linkages to ensure our customers have access to markets for their agricultural products. We also have plans to introduce technology solutions in the near future.”
Makinwa further elaborated on their commitment to supporting women in agribusiness, saying, “We have specific initiatives, such as webinars, tailored for women in agriculture. We’ve observed that they often face challenges in accessing finance, so we are actively working on improving financial literacy and access to finance for women in the sector.”
Highlighting the bank’s significant contributions to the agric business sector, Makinwa noted, “The Access Bank Group has made substantial investments of over N200 billion in agribusinesses. These investments have benefited a diverse range of businesses, including smallholder farmers, SMEs, farmer associations, large corporates, and have played a crucial role in enhancing food security, promoting business growth, and creating job opportunities.”
Access Bank’s Agric Business Desk aims to play a pivotal role in advancing the agricultural sector and ensuring sustainable food production in Nigeria.