Published | Aug 28, 2012
By | IT
BOA MANAGEMENT SUPPORTS THE PRESIDENTIAL FOCUS ON AGRICULTURAL FINANCE
The Management of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has described as timely and most welcome the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to recapitalize and restructure the institution. Speaking on the development, the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mohammed Santuraki observed that, indeed, the institution’s undercapitalization over the years has undermined its capacity to fully deliver on its mandate.
Santuraki, who underscored the critical nature of the agriculture to our national and economic growth and development, noted that the BOA had received only N30billion of N50billion approved share capital since the merger of its legacy institutions in 2000, and in about 13 installments.
These challenges notwithstanding, the BOA Chief Executive informed that the bank has within the last 11 years granted over N44billion loans to about 550,000 agricultural and rural enterprises, creating about 6 million jobs over the period. This he said has been possible through the creative leveraging of the available resources and strategic alliances.
Speaking further on the proposed restructuring of the institution by the Federal Government, Dr Santuraki expressed the management’s readiness to support the President’s initiative. He noted that the Federal Government’s efforts in this regard would certainly propel the institution’s transformation program, which commenced when the current Management took office 2 years ago. The effort, according to the BOA chief is aimed at refocusing the institution on its core mandate of agricultural and rural finance, reviewing the bank’s operating model , modernizing the institution, and the retraining of the staff to create a more sustainable and impactful institution.
Accordingly, the BOA is now positioned to review its operating model to conform with the international best practices of successful agriculture development finance institutions worldwide. This, he said, has reflected in the review of the bank’s processes, procedures and branch network operations.
Speaking further, Santuraki said the institution’s Information Technology architecture has been redesigned to accommodate mobile and agency banking operations to increase and improve the reach of the bank’s services considering the diverse spread of farmers across the nooks and crannies of the country.
Additionally, the institution has been rebranded, changing its name and brand identity from the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank to Bank of Agriculture.
In the area of manpower development and training, virtually all staff of the institution have benefitted from various capacity development initiatives, including an acculturation programme designed to infuse a service oriented culture within the system.
The BOA Managing Director noted that the recapitalization of the bank will assist in utilizing the bank’s full capacity in reaching more farmers, rural entrepreneurs and agribusinesses, and also help in powering the delivery of its new products, particularly those designed to drive its youth, women, and financial inclusion initiatives. The Bank chief said with 6 zonal offices, and over 200 outlets throughout the country, BOA has the largest distributive network of any agricultural related institution and also Development Finance institution in Nigeria. ”We are happy that we have been able to sufficiently front-burn the importance of agricultural finance in Nigeria, in such a way that it has attracted the President’s attention”.