NIRSAL MD/CEO emerges among best global CEOs

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In recognition of his outstanding contributions to Agriculture & Agribusiness as the Managing Director/CEO of The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), Aliyu Abdulhameed has emerged winner of the CEO Today Magazine Global Award 2021.

CEO Today Magazine identifies and honours the most respected companies and their C-Level executives who lead the way for others on a global stage. According to the magazine, the 2021 awards is special because it recognizes CEOs who, despite the odds brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, successfully executed their corporate strategies.

In its flagship publication, CEO Today highlights NIRSAL Plc’s innovations, achievements and plans under Abdulhameed’s leadership as exemplary and worthy of recognition.

Some of the innovations that have been introduced to the Nigerian Agriculture sector as a result of Abdulhameed’s leadership at NIRSAL Plc include the creation of the NIRSAL Agro Geo-Cooperative® (AGC) concept which structures farmers, aggregates their farmlands into contiguous stretches of 250 hectares each and links them with training, inputs, mechanization, financing and produce buyers.

Others include the creation & mapping of Agricultural Commodity Ecological Areas (ACEAs); the development of the Mapping to Markets (M2M) strategy; the development of innovative index-based agricultural insurance products; the introduction of comprehensive field monitoring by remote sensing satellite systems and granular validation by UAS platforms; and the development of the Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport & Storage Corridor (SATS-C) model to address logistical inefficiencies in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria.

Among NIRSAL Plc’s achievements that enhanced CEO Today’s reckoning of the institution and its CEO, Abdulhameed, is the facilitation of over US$550 million to various actors across Agricultural Value Chains for mechanisation activities, input distribution, and the production, processing, trading and marketing of agricultural commodities.

Owing to NIRSAL Plc’s solutions, commercial banks have pledged to provide an additional US$500 million to fund agriculture in the short to medium-term, provided the NIRSAL Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) and its structured Agro Geo-Cooperatives® remain in place. It is an indication that financiers are growing more and more confident in lending to agriculture. This claim is made true by the remarkable growth in the rate of bank lending to agriculture, from 1.4% pre-NIRSAL to 4.8% as of Q3 2020.

Other milestone achievements of NIRSAL include:

▪ A 123.5% increase in insurance uptake amongst smallholder farmers since NIRSAL led the development and deployment of index-based insurance products.

▪ 3,023 Agro Geo-Cooperatives® (AGCs) covering over 700,000 hectares of farmland formed, operated by an estimated 400,000 smallholder farmers. This is in pursuit of a short to medium-term target of 4million hectares, 16,000 AGCs, and 8million smallholder farmers.

▪ 700,000 farmers trained on good agronomic practices and financial literacy, with NIRSAL’s CRG beneficiaries attesting to a 20-60% increase in capacity utilisation, productivity/output levels, number of markets served and sales value.

▪ An estimated US$2.3 billion worth of economic activities stirred through agricultural products/outputs by virtue of NIRSAL Plc’s interventions across agricultural value chains.

Abdulhameed has acknowledged that the award, which came as a surprise, would serve as a motivation in his quest to bring about even more positive change in Agriculture in Nigeria through his position as MD/CEO of NIRSAL Plc. He said that NIRSAL’s strict adherence to global best practices has proven to be effective given CEO Today’s recognition and award.

CEO Today collates votes and carries out in-depth sector by sector research to choose the very best among the world’s CEOs to reward and celebrate their leadership style and visionary impetus. Winners of this year’s global awards come from the academia, tech, e-commerce, public administration and more from several countries including the UAE, Germany, USA, Sweden, Bulgaria and China.

The President and CEO of Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE, Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, made the final shortlist for meticulously and consistently providing a smooth, enjoyable and successful journey to students of the institution from admission to employment. Some of the other awardees include Michael Lampel of QOOPER Media & Michael Lampel Consulting, Germany; Ruain Kelleher of Immedis in Ireland; Kan Shi of Cue Group in China, and Sara Spencer of SolonTek in the USA.

It is this esteemed company of global tech, real estate, financial services and academic giants that Aliyu Abdulhameed, an agribusiness enthusiast and promoter, has now joined by winning CEO Today’s global award. This testifies to NIRSAL Plc’s popularity, and the growing modernization of agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria.

CEO Today’s Hall of Fame is filled with the leading lights of the global economy,
from the real estate mogul, Dr. Anas Hasan Al-Mulla, to tech innovators, Yuichi Ishizuka and Nick Lazaridis of Canon and EMEA/HP respectively. The CEO of Barclays UK, Ashok Vaswani, is also present, along with Cormac Whelan, CEO of Nokia UK and Ireland.

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