The Bank of Agriculture and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand and facilitate access to collection and distribution of agricultural credits to farmers.

Signing the MoU in Abuja on Friday, Mr Kabir Mohammed, the Managing Director of BoA, said the partnership was would assist in actualising the mandate of the Bank of reaching farming communities.

Mohammed said that NIPOST had available facilities especially in the rural areas which the Bank could utilise as warehouses for farm implements and inputs for distribution to farmers.

The managing director said the collaboration would serve the purpose of the two organisation for network expansion at minimal cost and asset optimisation.

Cue in audio — Mohammed

“NIPOST, we know they have approximately over 1,000 post officers and about 600 functional postal agents and post shops.

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“Seventy per cent of these outlets are located in the rural areas where we are targeting. Sorting offices of most rural post offices are highly under-utilized and can be used for providing a one stop banking or facility to our customers.

“The input suppliers will be in one location, seeds suppliers will be in the same location, fertiliser suppliers will be in the same location and also other companies that provide activities like land clearing using equipment.

“And this location ideally is supposed to be provided by the bank and we found it handy in the postal service,’’ he said.

Cue out audio—Mohammed

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Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, the Post-Master General of the federation, said that NIPOST had presence across various part of the country.

Adegbuyi said the partnership was aimed at positively affecting the lives of people especially farmers in the rural areas.

Cue in audio 2– Adegbuyi

“A nation cannot develop without solid agricultural programmes.

“Nigerian Postal Service is a massive national infrastructure, a very vital institution that has its presence in practically all the nook and crannies of Nigeria.

“When I became the postmaster general, I promised that NIPOST will be modernised, will be transformed, there will be innovations and they will be thinking out of the box.

“What we are witnessing today is a mere testimony to the fulfillment of that promise and am glad that we are partnering with a Bank that is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that agriculture and indeed farmers are assisted in so many ways.

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“We want to take prosperity to our people in the rural areas, we want to create wealth, we want to ameliorate poverty.

“The essence of this collaboration is to impact positively on the lives of our people in the rural areas,’’ he said.

Cue out audio 2 — Adegbuyi

Mr Olabode Abikoye, the Executive Director, Wholesale Banking of BoA, said the implementation would commence all over the country soon.

According to him, the goal is to ensure the generation of over 60 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product from the rural areas. (NAN)