Access Bank bridges N800b agric funding gap between Germany and Nigeria

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Access Bank Plc has expressed its commitment to bridging the N800 billion financing gap for agricultural value chain in the country.

Speaking at the Nigeria Agrofood Fairtrade sponsored by the bank in Lagos, its Head, Agric Desk, Opeyemi Oguntayo, said Nigeria has not been able to fully maximise agricultural gains, as only 40 per cent out of the 80 per cent arable land in the country is being cultivated.

He, however, said both the government and the private sector improved their interest in agriculture since 2016, adding that such renewed interest has raised the value of agricultural contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Oguntayo, said Access Bank finances the entire agricultural value chain, adding that the lender’s doors are always open to farmers who want finance for their projects.

He said the bank is always interested on how the farmer gets his inputs, and other accessories. “There is a lot of support for agriculture and the bank is helping small-holder farmers access such loans. We are not lowering the conditions for borrowing funds, but we want to make it easier for farmers to access the loans,” he said.

He explained that input supplies, production, processing, distribution and marketing of agricultural products are fully funded by the lender, adding that Nigeria needed to provide infrastructure that would prevent damages of farm produce like tomatoes from farm to markets. A large per cent of the farm produce, he said, are damaged before they get to the markets.

Head, German Desk at Access Bank Plc, Sebastian Barroso da Fonseca, said the desk is the bridge between Germany and Nigeria, trying to provide finance and first of all, finance for German businesses that want to operate in Nigeria or Nigerian businesses that want to operate in Germany. “Together with its partners, Access Bank and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHK Nigeria). DEG is offering a new service for German SMEs and their local partners in Nigeria,” he said.

He said the German Desk enables companies to gain access to financial support and solutions via point of contact, which combines all the products and services offered by Access Bank with the network and support of AHK Nigeria and DEG.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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