Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Sterling Bank, in conjunction with the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF), is set to promote environment-friendly agriculture businesses through a fresh $15 Million facility for lending
Sterling Bank’s Group Head for Energy, Dele Faseemo, said the medium – term fund will seek to increase Sterling’s funding for renewable energy installations in the agricultural sector and will positively impact lending in the sector as well as the Nigerian economy.
A Release issued by the AATIF, Group Head for Agriculture and Solid Minerals Finance, Dr Olushola Obikanye, says the funding will further deepen Sterling’s agricultural investments in the agribusiness industry, promote sustainable practices, and encourage farmers to explore environment-friendly systems.
“The $15 million medium-term facility from the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund extends our partnership with Sterling Bank, which started in 2019 with an initial vision to support the growth of the bank’s agricultural activities.
Since then, Sterling Bank and AATIF have worked together on numerous projects, with the bank making commendable contributions to the Nigerian agricultural sector. The extension of this partnership marks a new chapter in this fruitful relationship.” He said.
Ms Doris Koehn, chair of the AATIF Board of Directors, said of the deal, “When we first invested in Sterling Bank, we were keen to help actualize its impressive ambitions in growing its agricultural portfolio in Nigeria.
“Four and a half years later, we are proud to renew our partnership with the Bank and are focused on further enabling its efforts towards serving local smallholder farmers.”
The Bank has become renowned as one of the key partners and lenders to the agricultural sector, with over N100 billion, or approximately 13 percent of its lending portfolio, currently financing agricultural businesses across Nigeria.
This, amongst other initiatives such as the Agriculture Summit Africa; the continent’s largest private sector-driven conference on the industry, and the Nigerian Farmers’ Radio; an educative radio programme promoting good agricultural practices aired in all geo-political zones of Nigeria, has endeared the bank to primary producers, aggregators, commodity processors, and exporters.
These initiatives recently saw Sterling awarded the best-participating bank by the Agric Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund.
Sterling has also innovated in the renewable energy space with the launch of Imperium, its
solution to power homes and businesses, and is currently in the final stages of deploying
Nigeria’s largest solar-powered solution for commercial property with the ongoing
transformation of its Lagos Marina headquarters.
The 18-storey building has been fitted with over 3,000 photovoltaic panels and will generate power from renewable sources Agriculture and Renewable Energy form two of the five core pillars of Sterling’s now-famous HEART strategy. With the remaining sectors being Health, Education and Transportation.