Published | May 06, 2012
By | IT
As part of its transformation and institutional revitalization plan, the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) is exploring a technical partnership with Rabobank of Netherlands. The technical partnership will see the BOA drawing from the broad and deep experiences of Rabobank.
Rabobank is organized on cooperative principles and is the biggest lender to the agriculture and food business worldwide. The Bank which is the biggest Bank in Netherlands is rated one of the top 30 Banks in the world and has assets of about 700 billion Euro and annual profits of about 2 billion Euro. Rabobank, with over 2 million shareholders has about 10 million clients in the 900 branches of its 141 local banks. The Bank operates in about 50 countries worldwide.
In pursuant of the partnership, a team of two senior executives of Rabobank, Messrs Gerard Van Empel, Director and Founder of Rabo Development, and Frank Nagel, Head, Banking Advisory visited the BOA Kaduna Head Office where they had interactions with the BOA Management.
The Rabo team also interacted with some BOA field operation staff and clients during visits to the Bank’s branch offices and clients’ business locations.
As part of the team’s interactions with the BOA stakeholders, the team was led on a visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria by BOA’s Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Mohammed K. Santuraki
Receiving the team in his office, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu commended the BOA/Rabobank partnership while expressing the CBN’s support for the initiative which he described as “a move in the right direction.”
He noted that the apex Bank is aware of the fundamental changes being undertaken in the BOA Management while expressing the CBN’s support for the restructuring and transformation initiatives.
The Deputy Governor went further to inform that the CBN has a “strong role” for the transformed BOA while commending the zeal of the Santuraki-led Management to transform the institution.
Speaking earlier during the visit, the BOA Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Santuraki observed that Rabobank has a similar history with the BOA. He described it as a cooperative bank focused on lending to agriculture, food and agribusiness. He noted that since the current Management assumed leadership, they have initiated efforts to create a viable sustainable institution that will not continuously go back to its stakeholders with unending requests for recapitalization.
Santuraki said their analyses indicated that among other challenges, retail operating model is not sustainable for delivering development finance. BOA needs to become a broad-based rural Bank with a licence to work both sides of its balance sheet.
As part of efforts to solve this problem, the Bank’s Management decided and proposed a technical partnership with an institution like Rabobank which share a similar history and experience with BOA.
In his remarks, Van Empel noted that Rabobank is operating in 50 countries and has similar partnerships in four African countries. He expressed the hope that the relationship with BOA will ultimately culminate in Rabobank’s partnership in West Africa.