• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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The Alternative Bank signs multi-sector development deal with Niger State

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The Alternative Bank, an Africa–focused non-interest bank, has signed a multiyear deal with the Niger State government to boost the development of agriculture, transportation, energy, and infrastructural sectors in the state.

Mohammed Bago, Governor of Niger State who signed the Memorandum of Understanding, alongside Garba Mohammed, executive director of The Alternative Bank, said the objective for the deal is to maximise the agricultural potential of the state. The state plans to lease earth-moving equipment like caterpillars, bulldozers, pale loaders, and graders to prepare 4.5 million hectares of cultivable land over the next 10 years.

Read also: How The Alternative Bank will disrupt the banking ecosystem

“Currently, the state is in discussions with Almarai, a Saudi multinational dairy company, for the production of Alfalfa plants. The economic value of the plant has been recognised, and efforts are underway to study its protein content for better seeding cultivation,” said Bago.

The deal with The Alternative Bank provides the state numerous developmental prospects including deploying solar-powered kiosks across various locations in the state for basic healthcare delivery and community convergence. The deal also encourages investing in agriculture to bolster the agro-economy value chain, aiming at food security and export enhancement.

Another benefit of the deal is fast-tracking the shift to sustainable electric transportation in Niger State empowering people and reducing environmental harm from fossil fuel use (PMS/AGO). It would also bridge banking service gaps in underserved areas, ensuring comprehensive financial service access and economic integration for all residents of the state. The deal will introduce a digital platform mirroring the physical setup, infrastructure, and operational model of the state’s tertiary institutions. Finally, it will bring focus on the drug supply chain and expedit health insurance to widen healthcare access in the state.

Garba Mohammed, Executive Director of The Alternative Bank, said there are million-dollar opportunities that come as a result of the deal. He noted that an international partner is willing to invest $65 million for a sugarcane plantation, creating job opportunities and generating electricity and other products.

Read also: Alternative Bank advances expansion of non-interest banking in Africa

Another development partner from the UAE is ready to invest between $1 and $10 million for exporting the Alfalfa plant, requiring 100,000 hectares for cultivation. Mohammed has also advised the state government to obtain Ijarah Sukuk from the capital market for 5 to 7 years, this is in order to reduce cost and a ensure return on investment without a substantial upfront cost from the state.