BOA, NIPOST seal pact to boost credit lending to rural farmers
Bank of Agriculture(BOA) and the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) has signed a memorandum of Understanding to boost acessibility of credit facilities to rural farmers.
Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Alhaji Kabir Mohammed during an agreement signing between the BOA and Post-Master General, Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi, yesterday in Abuja said that the 1,184 post offices in the country would serve as one-stop outlets to render financial services to the farmers.
He added that with the agreement, NIPOST can make available its infrastructural facilities to agricultural communities close to it.
Mohammed stated that as a retail financial development institution, there was need to build extensive network of physical and technological driven delivery channels, that would enable farmers, value-chain players and the rural economies have easy access to financial services in close proximity to their areas of operations.
The BOA MD said some of the warehouse facilities in rural communities belonging to NIPOST could serve as storehouse to help farmers reduce issues of post-harvest losses.
He explained that the bank currently has 140 branches and six zonal offices which is grossly inadequate to serve farmers population.
“There is need to build a more extensive service delivery network to enhance the bank’s distribution and collection capabilities in a cost effective manner,” he added.
In his remarks, Adegbuyi described the partnership as vital stressing that over 1184 post offices could be used to render financial services to rural farmers.
He said most of the standard post offices are equipped with purpose built vaults as well as strong rooms for security of cash and other instruments.
“NIPOST has approximately 1184 own post offices and about 600 functioning postal agents and post shops. 70 per cent of post outlets are located in rural areas where farmers live.
“Sorting offices of most rural post offices are highly underutilized and can be used as warehouses for farm implements and inputs in the planting seasons and for commodity aggregation in the harvest seasons.
“This would enhance prospects for an effective warehouse receipt system in the medium term,” he added.