First Bank to Partner Farmers Union

Fri, Feb 6, 2015
By publisher

Banking Briefs


THE First Bank of Nigeria, FBN, ‎has said it will partner argo-allied Farmers Commodities Cooperative Entrepreneurship Multipurpose Union by giving it a N50 billion credit facility. FBN also promised to help the association to access the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, MSME, loan packaged by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Solomon Aremu, business manager, ‎Ado Main Branch, First Bank, told members of the union in Abuja that considering the existing relationship as banker to the cooperative, First Bank is willing to partner the group. “Already First Bank has a good relationship with the union, thus, by the time the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, FMARD, review the request, the bank will now proceed with assurance from the ministry,” he said.

Stressing on the need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the cooperative union, Aremu said the request was a welcomed one, saying “the Legal Adviser of the union should present necessary documents to the ‎bank.”

Similarly, Osaze ‎Uwaifo, First Bank’s relationship manager, Ado Main Branch, said the bank would support the union anyway it could. He, however, urged members of the union to patronise other services of the bank until the N50 billion requests is approved. He listed some of the services as Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, CACS, Agriculture Trust Fund, ATF, and Product Finance.

‎Earlier, Aladesuyi Aladejobi, president of the union, had urged the First Bank to liaise with the appropriate quarters including the CBN, presidency and federal ministry of agriculture and rural development to fast-track release of the N50 billion credits. According to her, it was important to differentiate civil service farmers’ cooperative from ‎local farmers and mechanised farmers’ cooperative‎.

“The N50 billion that I had solicited for the grassroots who are the major electorates should be given to them without any further delay‎ because an angry man is an unhappy man while unhappiness is the root of calamity, catastrophic, jeopardy, pandemonium and disregard for the rule of law, and derailment from the norms ethics and values of the society,” she said.

IFC Gives AIICO Insurance N3.8b Grant

Edwin Igbiti

THE International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a grant of N3.8 billion ($20 million) convertible loan to AIICO Insurance Plc. The grant, according to Edwin Igbiti, managing director, AIICO Insurance, is the global finance institution’s support to the insurance underwriting firm for its expansion activities across Nigeria.

He said the plan by the company to expand its insurance services in the country would help to increase economic security, as well as create the development of new asset pools that could be invested in order to support economic development, including job creation.

The deal will be signed tomorrow at AIICO Insurance corporate head office in Lagos.

Igbiti also said the company would use the loan facility to increase its agency network and retail centers and increase its reach and footprint across the country. He also said the facility would also enable AIICO to further strengthen its information technology platform to achieve greater efficiency in claims processing and customer services. “AIICO Insurance Plc offers life and non-life insurance products to individuals, households, and businesses with a focus on value creation. Partnering with IFC will help AIICO expand its activities further to meet the needs of the consumers who require more options. It will improve AIICO’s operational efficiency and strengthen the economic security and prosperity in Nigeria,” he said.

IFC’s global insurance strategy aims to increase the penetration of insurance in underserved markets, promoting diverse products and developing long-term partnerships with institutions that can help expand its developmental goals.

Eme Essien Lore, IFC country manager for Nigeria, said availability of insurance coverage is an important enabler for managing economic risk and promoting security of consumers and private businesses. IFC’s support to AIICO’s expansion reinforces the underwriting company’s commitment to improving social stability and economic growth in Nigeria.

IFC encourages a diverse range of insurance products, including property, health, agro, life, micro insurance and pensions. The corporation also mobilises additional resources through global and regional insurance companies, other developmental financial institutions, and financial investors.

AIICO Insurance PLC is one of the market leaders in life assurance and annuity services market and offers life, non-life insurance, pension management, health insurance and asset management. It is the second largest insurer in Nigeria by gross premiums and has maintained a top three position over the last five years.

— Feb. 16, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT