February 25, 2020 / 7:34 PM / Bukola Akinyele for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
At the 2020 Agribusiness summit hosted by Ecobank Nigeria which focused on the theme "Unlocking Productivity and Investment Opportunities Across The Agribusiness Value-chain" the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, gave a presentation at the event on the "Investment opportunities across the Agribusiness Value Chain."
He described food security as a critical element to a nation like Nigeria, as it enhances national security and ensures the sustainability of the nation.
Mr. Abdulhameed agreed with other stakeholders that agriculture must be at the front burner of driving the economy of Nigeria.
The NIRSAL MD/CEO believed there is a strong link between productivity and investment, which is key, and was of the view that without productivity, there would be no financing and investment.
"Except you convert Agric from the cultural practices to the Agriculture with the rules and logic of business, you can never get private sector financing in the sector. Whatever conversation you will have, you must talk about productivity; you must be able to convince a bank that your business is productive enough to attract money," Mr. Abdulhameed.
Looking at the investment opportunities in the Nigerian Agric sector, he acknowledged that the country had four critical resources;
Despite the unique opportunities in Nigeria, Mr. Abdulhameed decried the fact that two years ago (2018), the total Nigeria food import bill was $22bn, while that of Africa was about $35bn, according to the AfDB report.
He highlighted the current local and global trends that will drive productivity and future investments in agriculture.
According to him the opportunities in Nigeria's Agri-business cannot be fully harnessed without four types of capital, which include;
These forms of capital are meant to design and execute a project to deliver results.
He challenged the young generation to study agribusiness and be able to do project management to deliver on key projects in the sector.
Abdulhameed said NIRSAL concentrates on five segments of the commodities market which are;
He informed stakeholders that NIRSAL is also leveraging partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, Vodacom and the European Agency and many other agencies to deepen Agri-business activities in the country.