State governments, banks key into NIRSAL phase one exercise
At least three state governments and six financial institutions have enlisted into the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) rating programme.
The exercise, which is to stimulate the flow of finance and investment into the agribusiness sector, seeks to assess the performance of key stakeholders such as financial institutions and state governments on the effectiveness of their agricultural policies and programmes.
The first phase, targeted at banks, insurance companies and state governments, already has financial institutions like: Stanbic Bank IBTC, Ecobank, Sterling Bank, AIICO Insurance, AXA Mansard and LAPO Microfinance Banks.
The results of the pilot phase will be used to design a comprehensive roll-out of the rating programme for all interested stakeholders.
The rating and incentive pillars represent the last two of the five pillars of NIRSAL to be activated. The first three are the risk sharing facility, the technical assistance facility and the insurance facility. These five strategic pillars provide the funding basis for NIRSAL’s de-risking operations and interventions across the agricultural value chain.
NIRSAL has developed a scoring methodology for these three clusters to enable independent assessment of their agricultural activities. These scoring methodologies have been validated by the relevant stakeholders through a consultation workshop held in November 2018.
The consultation programme was well attended by participants from Access Bank, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank, First Bank, LAPO Microfinance Bank, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Ltd, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Industrial and General Insurance Company Plc, Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture, Ekiti State Ministry of Agriculture amongst others.
The scoring methodology to be deployed for banks rates them according to their organisational commitment to agriculture, quality of their agricultural portfolio and recognises smallholder farmers, inclusion and innovation in their agric lending activities.
Insurance companies will be rated based on the innovative agricultural insurance products developed, customer acquisition and satisfaction and timely processing of claims.
The rating of Sub-National Governments will assess the ease of doing agribusiness in the respective States with a view to improving access to critical factors of production and providing the enabling and regulatory environment necessary for agribusinesses to thrive.