Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has again been awarded the Best Support Bank in the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGSF) for the 8th consecutive year by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The award is presented to the bank which has demonstrated the highest level of support for the scheme.
Similarly, three customers of the bank won the apex bank`s National Awards in three categories: Sion Economic Allianz, Asaba, won the Best Arable Farmer; Professor Vincent Iyawe from Benin won the award for Best Tree Crop award; while Arac Group Farmers` Co-operative, Port Harcourt, won the award in fishery.
Mr Emeka Emuwa, Group Managing Director of Union Bank, received the award from President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Emuwa, â€œUnion Bank remains committed to agriculture financing to drive growth and development in the sector, and to also facilitate economic empowerment for small scale farmers.â€
Union Bank has been actively involved in ACGSF since 1977 and to date has disbursed more than N4.2 billion in loans to more than 14,700 beneficiaries. This represents 77.62% and 74.65% respectively of the total amount and number of loans granted by all commercial banks under the scheme as at December 2013.
â€œEqually significant is the highly impressive loan recovery rate during the year, a record that is attributed to their formidable loan recovery strategies and professional support given to farmers. The bank, no doubt, has made enormous strides in its bid to transform the agricultural sector through adequate credit purveyance under the ACGSF, as well as the rendition of technical support to the farming community,â€ the CBN said in the citation on Union Bank.
In 2013, Union Bank set N10 billion as the new annual disbursement limit. This is expected to run through each year and would cover different crops, ecology and farming seasons across Nigeria.
The awards ceremony was the highlight of the 8th Annual Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Finance Conference and Entrepreneurship Awards held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja. The event also witnessed the flag off of the disbursement of N220 billion MSME Development Fund and award prizes to State Governments and banks by President Goodluck Jonathan.