The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending on Monday said it was deploying an innovative nationwide field structure to support 225,000 farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The structure, known as the Project Monitoring Reporting and Remediation Office, has units located in each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The PMROs are designed to support NIRSAL’s core mandate of making agriculture more attractive for private sector investment by de-risking the value chain.
Among other functions, they will provide rigorous monitoring and supervision of NIRSAL facilitated agriculture projects to improve successful outcomes.
NIRSAL, which the CBN appointed an implementation partner for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, is deploying the PMROs to support an initial number of about 225,000 farmers throughout the country under the scheme.
NIRSAL said the 225,000 farmers being supported would include minimum of 5,000 farmers in 37 locations of the 36 states and the FCT.
Speaking on the development, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, explained that the PMROs would play an important supportive role because the organisation was running a lean operation.
He said, “The PMRO structure is very critical to our operations. Agriculture is a field business.
“They will act as our eyes to ensure that agricultural projects that we facilitate finance for are executed in line with agreed terms and also serve to extend the reach of our interventions.”
He added that the PMROs would have the responsibility of capturing the impact of NIRSAL’s interventions on communities, individual farmers and other players along the agricultural value chain.
“The positive impact made is the justification for our existence, so it’s critical to constantly measure and review the impact of our interventions,” he added.
The function of the PMROs in each state is to generate new projects, where necessary, supervise existing ones and mobilise the community to support and own as well as enjoy the positive impact of NIRSAL projects.
In line with NIRSAL’s focus on business-driven agriculture, Abdulhameed said the PMROs would be led by highly experienced private sector professionals and would deploy private sector orientation and strategies to drive the projects along agribusiness lines.
They will also assist the banks to properly package those projects so that they can become bankable.
The National Coordinating Consultant overseeing the PMRO structure, Dr. Steven Ogidan, said the closeness of the offices to project sites and the embedding of project monitoring services within the project sites would ensure effective monitoring and reduce the risk of loan diversion.