The contributions of Sterling Bank Plc “Your one-customer bank” to the growth of the Agriculture sector in the country was at the weekend rewarded as the financial institution received the Agric Bank of the Year Award.
The Bank was recognized at the third edition of the Nigeria Agriculture Awards held at Intercontinental Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday. The event was attended by top government functionaries especially those in the agricultural and the banking sectors.
The Award was received by Mrs. Bukola Awosanya, the Head of Agric Department of Sterling Bank. It will be recalled that Sterling Bank in 2015 won the Best Bank in Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), a testimony of its soaring pedigree in the business of agriculture finance in the country. Same year, it received the Agriculture Bank of the Year Award.
The award which was powered by the Agriculture Policy Research Network (APRNet) and Agro Nigeria Limited was conferred on the Bank in recognition of its critical role in the dispensing of financial services to actors in the Nigerian agricultural value chain.
In a letter signed by Professor Emmanuel Ikani, the Chairman of the Nigeria Agriculture Awards and addressed to the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola, the NAA commended the Bank for complimenting the effort of the government aimed at repositioning the agricultural sector to enable it to contribute more to the revenue base of the country.
The letter reads: “We are delighted to inform you that the Central Committee of the Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA) has confirmed you for the award of Agric Bank of the Year Award. The Committee adjudged you so because your bank emerged the clear, undisputed winner in the online poll conducted by the Committee.’’
The Bank in a statement signed by its Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Henry Bassey assured that the Bank would continue to sustain its commitment to the strategic growth of the sector by providing adequate funding in alignment with the current reforms in the sector aimed at repositioning it as an attractive business proposition, an input provider for the manufacturing sector and a key foreign exchange earner.
The statement reads further: “As a firm believer in the capacity of agriculture in the transformation of the fortune of the nation’s economy, Sterling Bank has been in the forefront of the various growth enhancement initiatives introduced by the government. The Bank also believes however that, the expected growth in the sector will remain a dream if proper financing structures were not put in place.
“This informed the reasons behind the Bank’s decision to provide finance and advisory services to individuals and companies that need funds to finance agriculture and agro allied businesses. In fact, the Bank finances all actors along the value chain from production to processing as well as input, transportation and marketing among others. Indeed, the commitment of Sterling Bank to the growth of agriculture in Nigeria is legendary.’’