Unarguably, one of the many challenges business owners face in the country, including those in the agricultural sector is access to credit. To secure a loan has been a difficult hurdle to cross, which has been impeding the free flow of business and contributing to business failures.
In order to address the menace in the Nigerian agricultural sector, Pan -African technology company, Cellulant Corporations has made a giant strive to secure a credit facility of N2 billion from Wema Bank.
This was disclosed at the gala night ceremony held at Oriental Hotel Lagos, where both parties alongside the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU was signed by Co-CEO Cellulant, Bolaji Akinboro, Managing Director, Wema Bank, Adedamola Adebise, Executive director NIRSAL Rep, Kennedy Nwurah and Ken Njuroge, Co-CEO Cellulant.
Cellulant, with the help of Wema Bank, will be providing funding for Nigerian farmers through their initiative, dubbed ‘Agrikore’. The initiative is a blockchain-based contracting payment and marketplace system that ensures that everyone in the agricultural business can do business in a trusted environment.
Nairametrics understands that the MoU will boost the agricultural value chain for farmers.
While speaking at Cellulant’s inaugural partners’ summit themed ‘Technology for Transformation: Connecting Everyone to Nigeria’s $50bn Agribusiness Opportunity & Creating Jobs for Africa’s Youth’, Bolaji Akinboro stated that the country’s Agric sector is a very big sector that needs to be paid attention to.
According to Akinboro, the consumption of food, which is the end product of most agricultural activities in the country is worth about $100 million daily and between $36 billion to $50 billion annually, hence the need to improve the value chain.
How Cellulant will effect the funding: This funding is meant to serve a purpose, which is to improve the Agric value chain. Cellulant tends to improve the value chain with its payment platform, Tingg, and Agrikore, an innovative platform built on blockchain technology.
In his words, Akinboro said: “We are not just a fintech company; we have the technology and operations via Agrikore. When you combine technology and operations, you can change the world. We are providing technology that makes life better for everyone; Nigerians and Africans. We are the ones that can bring in the change.
“At Cellulant, we remain committed to providing innovative-led solutions to grow the agricultural sector and empower Nigerian farmers. We pioneered Agritech innovation that powers the livelihoods of more than 17 million farmers and allows all players to connect to solutions that transform how they do business.”
Adebise noted that “holistic interventions across the value chain are required to achieve the desired impact and outcomes in the sector.” He identified a low level of budgetary allocation, negligible financial literacy, a large percentage of unbanked population and the limited understanding of the value chain as part of the challenges facing the agric sector.
He added that Wema Bank has committed N2 billion in funds, which is available for immediate drawdown to commodity aggregators on the Cellulant network to facilitate trade across the value chain. The partnership will also see NIRSAL provide credit risk guarantees for all borrowers in the scheme.
“We are collaborating to provide sustainable finance and market access for the small and medium scale agribusinesses in underbanked rural areas in Nigeria, without the need for traditional brick and mortar bank branches,” Adebise said.
More so, Cellulant also launched Tingg, a digital financial service, that specializes in mobile and other forms of electronic payments. Tingg is the digital version of physical wallet, debit and credit cards. It allows one to buy, pay bills, send and receive money and to manage all one’s financial transactions from wallet securely and most importantly privately.
Amongst the unique selling proposition of Tingg, is the provision of control, speed, privacy and mobility customers need with their money any time any day.
Meanwhile, the company in the course of the event recognized key industry players.
Amongst the awardees for the night is Wema Bank, Zenith Bank, Coscharis Motors, Rainoil Limited, and Abubakar Usman.