Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has again been awarded the Best Support Bank in the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGSF) for the 8th consecutive year by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The award was presented to the bank which has demonstrated the highest level of support for the scheme.
Similarly, three customers of Union Bank won the apex bank`s National Awards in three categories: Sion Economic Allianz, Asaba won the Best Arable Farmer; Professor Vincent Iyawe from Benin won the award for Best Tree Crop award; while Arac Group Farmers` Co-operative, Port Harcourt won the award in Fishery.
Mr. Emeka Emuwa, the Group Managing Director of Union Bank received the award from President Goodluck Jonathan at Abuja. According to Emuwa, “Union Bank remains committed to agriculture financing to drive growth and development in the sector, and to also facilitate economic empowerment for small scale farmers.”
Union Bank has been actively involved in ACGSF since 1977 and to date has disbursed more than N4.2 billion in loans to more than 14,700 beneficiaries. This represents 77.62% and 74.65% respectively of the total amount and number of loans granted by all commercial banks under the scheme as at December 2013.
Similarly, Sterling Bank Plc received an award as the Best-Performing Bank in Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) for sponsoring nine projects valued at N6.18 billion.
CACS was established in 2009 to finance large ticket projects along the agricultural value chain through the provision of credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprise at a single digit interest of nine per cent.
In 2013, 12 banks participated in the scheme and disbursed a total of N26.50 billion to 37 projects across the country.
For the award to corporate organizations, Sion Economic Alliance and ARAC Farmers’ Cooperative, PortHarcourt, won the best National Farmer of the year award under Fisheries and Arable Crops categories, respectively.
Under Tree Crop, and Poultry categories, Prof. Vincent Iyawe and Bay Farms Nigeria Limited, won the award as best National Farmers of the year, respectively.
The awards ceremony was the highlight of the 8th Annual Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Finance Conference and Entrepreneurship Awards held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
The event also witnessed the flag off of the disbursement of N220 billion MSME Development Fund and award prizes to state governments and banks by President Goodluck Jonathan.