By Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in AbujaÂ
To diversify the revenue base of the country especially through agriculture,â€Ž Â StanbicIBTC and the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Friday launched a N50 billion agricultural finance scheme.
It is believed that the finance scheme would generate 500,000 direct jobs for Nigerians, while also providing smallholder farmers access to loans.
The Managing Director, StanbicIBTC, Dr. Demola Sogunle, at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)Â stated that theÂ landmark agreement was the beginning of the march towards diversification of the revenue of the country.
He stressed that Stanbic IBTC was coming forward as the first bank to subscribe to the vision, mission and the commitment of NIRSAL, and commended the management of NIRSAL for theÂ commitment and dedication shown, saying those attributes are very rare within the public sector.
According to him, “Nigerian economy is to a large extent diversified looking at the components of the GDPâ€Ž. The problem or what is not diversified is the source of government revenue, which is concentrated in oil and gas. So, government revenue is not diversified and external earnings of Nigeria is also not diversified, 75-80% concentrated in oil and gas.”