BusinessDay

Sterling reaffirms support to agriculture

Sterling Bank Plc, has said the bank is ready and willing to invest more in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, having invested more than N100 billion; a figure that represents about 15 percent of the bank’s total loans portfolio, Abubakar Suleiman, managing director/CEO said.

He said this in his closing remarks at the Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2022 with the theme: “Engineering a Trillion Dollar Agricultural Economy,” which was held recently both physically and virtually with more than 10,000 attendees from across the world.

Agriculture is one of the five sectors of the economy that the bank has focused its investments on since 2018 as part of her HEART of Sterling strategy. The others are health, education, transportation, and renewable energy.

Suleiman observed that apart from the Bank of Agriculture, he could not think of any other financial institution that has committed its resources to agricultural financing like Sterling Bank.

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“When we started the journey about five years ago, we were very clear in our minds that we did not just want to make it a talk show and we have been changing the focus of the conversation from moving away from identifying problems to providing solutions and now we are bringing stakeholders together in a bid to effectively move the conversation forward with action.

“We started it because we wanted to focus on agricultural financing where there was a significant gap. Every time we meet a stakeholder or a regulator, we noticed a different perspective of what the problem was and therefore it becomes clear to us that if we do not bring all the stakeholders together to harmonise their views and understanding, we will continue to remain in the dark,” he said.

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