Photo: Smiling Farmer from worldisround.com
1. "We have to go out and get investments and get that money into the country." - Olusegun Aganga, explaining the focus of the Ministry of Trade and Investments. Source: Daily Trust
2. Ndidi Nwuneli, a successful serial NGO founder, has turned her focus to Agriculture. She writes for Business Day every Tuesday on Agriculture, including Eating Beyond Our Means last week, and Transforming Our Farmers into Entrepreneurs on July 13th.
3. EFInA, a Nigerian NGO funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, religiously tracks Access to Banking/Capital/Finance. As most Nigerians remain outside the formal banking sector, and too many are unbanked (formally or informally), EFInA funds ideas that increase financial innovation and access - e.g. through its s-weet Innovation Fund
By the way, here is the EFInA report on the Financial Services Landscape in Nigeria (2010).
4. (Source: Business Day - CBN and small enterprise funding)
The Central bank has earmarked funds for grassroots lending/investment, which include since 2009:
- N200 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CASS) Fund being channeled to farmers: through state governments to farmers’ cooperatives and unions within their constituencies, and also through private promoters/projects.
- N200 billion guarantee scheme for new loans to SMEs to be provided at bank’s prime lending rate
- N500 billion manufacturing and infrastructure (power and airline) intervention fund
- CBN also set up Entrepreneurship Development Centers, EDCs, to train citizens in locations around the country (see ALF-EDC); as well as a Nigerian Incentive-based risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), to reduce banks’ perception of agriculture as ‘highly risky’ and consequently expand bank lending to the agricultural sector from the current 2% to at least 10% within the next five years.