-by our correspondent
Ecobank Nigeria has been presented with the “Agric Lender of the Year” award at the prestigious Bank and other Financial Institutions Awards (BAFI).
According to a statement, Business Day, organisers of the award, spent over four weeks assessing the performance of Ecobank and its peers to arrive at its final decision as Ecobank stood out from more than six other strong contenders to clinch the coveted trophy.
The organisers applauded the bank’s support for financing rural farmers, providing employment, creating awareness in the sector and partnering government agencies, local and international development bodies to develop the agriculture sector.
MD/CEO Econank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan
Ecobank’s Segment Head, Public Sector/Agribusiness, Mojisola Oguntoyinbo, who received the award on behalf of the bank, said it was well deserved, noting that Ecobank has been at the forefront of financing the entire value chain of agriculture and supporting the emergence of new entrepreneurs in the sector.
“As a bank, we are glad that our efforts at developing the agriculture sector of our country are being recognized, this is an encouragement that we should step up our support for the national economy” she said.
“We have Agric Schemes to support over 70,000 farmers with special loans to increase their capacity and yields in support of the CBN 2020 wet season programme with the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria. We are also in partnership with the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the United States Agency for International Development, the Development Bank of Nigeria and other developmental partners to double the amount of credit provided to the agricultural sector over the next two or three years.” Oguntoyibo added.
Since inception of the award, Business Day has implemented an audit based approach in the evaluation process, meticulously reviewing shortlisted company’s financial reports, commissioned customer perception surveys, and analysts’ opinions to determine winners in the different award categories. The BAFI Awards is adjudged the most prestigious and transparent in the Nigerian financial industry.