Sterling Bank, in collaboration with the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF), has secured a $15 million medium-term facility to advance its support for agricultural activities. This partnership, which began in 2019, aims to foster the growth of the bank’s agricultural ventures. Over the years, Sterling Bank and AATIF have successfully executed several projects, making significant contributions to Nigeria’s agricultural sector. The extension of this partnership marks an important milestone in their fruitful relationship.
Dr. Olushola Obikanye, the Group Head for Agriculture and Solid Minerals Finance at Sterling Bank, stated that the funding will enhance the bank’s agricultural investments in the agribusiness industry, promote sustainable practices, and encourage farmers to adopt environmentally friendly systems.
Dele Faseemo, the Group Head for Energy at Sterling Bank, expressed that the fund will support increased financing for renewable energy installations in the agricultural sector. This initiative will have a positive impact on lending activities within the sector and contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Ms. Doris Koehn, Chair of the AATIF Board of Directors, highlighted the initial investment in Sterling Bank, emphasizing the goal of supporting the bank’s impressive ambitions in expanding its agricultural portfolio in Nigeria. The renewed partnership reflects their commitment to enabling the bank’s efforts in serving local smallholder farmers.
Sterling Bank has gained recognition as a key partner and lender in the agricultural sector, with approximately N100 billion (about 13% of its lending portfolio) currently allocated to financing agricultural businesses across Nigeria. The bank’s dedication to the industry is further demonstrated through initiatives like the Agriculture Summit Africa, the largest private sector-driven conference in the sector, and the Nigerian Farmers’ Radio, an educational program promoting good agricultural practices across the country.
These efforts have garnered Sterling Bank the distinction of being named the best-participating bank by the Agric Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund. Additionally, the bank has made strides in renewable energy with the launch of Imperium, its solution for powering homes and businesses. Furthermore, Sterling Bank is in the final stages of deploying Nigeria’s largest solar-powered solution for commercial property, as its Lagos Marina headquarters undergoes a transformation with over 3,000 photovoltaic panels.
Agriculture and Renewable Energy are two of the five core pillars of Sterling Bank’s HEART strategy, with Health, Education, and Transportation completing the holistic approach to sustainable development.