The First City Monument Bank, in partnership with Mercy Corps, has provided 500,000 farmers and vulnerable people in Nigeria’s North-East zone with access to farming-friendly and demand-driven financial services.
According to a statement released on Thursday, the partnership supported by USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, will deliver funding and capacity-building support to smallholder farmers and vulnerable people living in the conflict-affected states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe.
Speaking during the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony on Wednesday, in Lagos, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, expressed appreciation to Mercy Corps and other partners for confidence in the bank’s capability to drive the initiative.
She said, “We are delighted to play another crucial role in developing our local communities and society at large. This partnership will significantly improve the living standards of farmers and other vulnerable people by boosting food sufficiency and reducing poverty. It will also de-escalate insecurity in the North-East. All of these align with FCMB’s commitment to creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to attain their growth potential.”
Also speaking, the Country Director of Mercy Corps Nigeria, Mr Ndubisi Anyanwu, said, “We are extremely proud to be supporting initiatives that drive recovery and increase investment in North-East Nigeria. Mercy Corps has been working in the nexus as an Agency, implementing several programmes that aim to sustainably transition people in conflict-affected areas out of humanitarian assistance to recovery through development.”
The Chief of Party, Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, Mrs Margarita Aswani, said, “We are delighted that this partnership will enable FCMB to adapt its loan products and offerings to fit the context in North-East Nigeria. It will empower farmers, small ruminant producers, and microenterprise owners to grow their businesses and increase yields.