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BOA, SunTrust Bank seal pact on agric banking


SunTrust Bank

As part of efforts at revitalising agriculture as alternative mainstay of the economy, the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and SunTrust Bank have sealed an e-banking business agreement to such end.

The agreement was signed at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja in presence of operators in the agric sector has been described as instrumental to the development of agricultural sector in Nigeria.

The Managing Director/CEO of SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited, Muhammad Jibrin and the Chief Executive of Bank of Agriculture Kabiru Adamu signed for their respective banks during the event which they said would aid agric processes as employment generating venture.

The agreement, will among other things, allow SunTrust Bank to deploy its banking services and other complimentary e-banking services to simplify BOA services to its farmer customers across its 140 branches in Nigeria.

The SunTrust Bank boss said the deal will also allow it to deploy its banking platforms technology like ATM and other infrastructure for the over one million farmers in the kitty of BOA.

“We will also provide training support to the BOA staff and at the end of the day, it will be a mutually benefitting agreement to all parties.

In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the BOA, Kabiru Adamu expressed optimism that the MoU will revolutionise agriculture in the country.

According to Adamu, both banks have agreed to bring together their mutually unique capabilities and experiences to enable BOA serve its customers to facilitate quicker penetration of the unbanked farmers.

He explained that the bank would provide electronic payment solutions using its existing platform, including USSD, Mobile Money Service, Merchant and Settlement Accounts for e-transaction.

The Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh said he was elated by the MoU, adding that the ‘landmark deal will change the face of farming in the country’.

Ogbeh who regretted that the BOA has been in difficulty over the years, said he expects that the new agreement and partnership with SunTrust Bank ‘will get it out of the woods’.

“We have been trying to set up IT services at the BOA but it has been difficult. We hope that with your backing, the services will eventually come to fruition,” the Minister said.

He said plans are at advance stage for farmers to own 30 percent shares of the Bank of Agriculture.

“Thirty percent of BOA will be owned by farmers which will eventually makes it to be referred to as Farmers Bank like the one in China,” Ogbeh said.

He added that he looks forward to achieving five percent interest rate for farmers, describing the current interest rate as unfriendly and disincentive.

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