In its efforts to fast track access to finance in rural areas, the Bank of Agriculture has injected N1billion for on-lending to micro finance banks in remote areas.
The National Project Co-ordinator for Rural Finance Institution building Programme (RUFIN), Alhaji Musibau Azeez disclosed this recently in Abuja while presenting a communiqué issued at the end of a financial linkage forum, organised by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and RUFIN.
To facilitate access of the micro finance institutions to the N1 billion lifeline, Azeez disclosed that a committee has been set up to ensure that farmers get access to fund, calling on the development banks to increase the fund.
He disclosed that the target of the IFAD RUFFIN project is to attain a sustainable rural financial system in 12 states of the federation, in which 36 local government areas were selected, hinting that 33 rural microfinance banks had already benefited.
He stressed that the importance of the stakeholders meeting was to link commercial and development banks with selected microfinance institutions for refinancing their micro lending and also to increase access to finance in the rural areas by encouraging financial deepening.
The policy statement, however, stressed the need to facilitate the establishment of contact and involvement of RUFIN microfinance banks to access the N450 billion Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NISRAL) that is being promoted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
They further called for the need to get affirmative action from the local government chairmen to provide some level of funding to the micro finance banks.
They enjoined the CBN to issue detailed guidelines on down scaling and financial linkage to assist and encourage development micro finance banks to actively pursue the programme of linkage and wholesale funding support to the financial institutions.
Filed Under: Agriculture