Sterling Bank Promotes Renewable Energy-Powered Agriculture with Fresh AATIF Fund

Lagos, Nigeria: Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Sterling Bank, in conjunction with the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF), is set to promote environment-friendly agriculture businesses by lending the sum of $15 million to sustainable and renewable energy-powered agric enterprises.

The $15 million medium-term facility from the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund extends our partnership with Sterling Bank that started in 2019 with an initial vision to support the growth of the Bank’s agricultural activities. Since then, Sterling Bank and AATIF have worked together on numerous projects, with the Bank making commendable contributions to the Nigerian agricultural sector market. The extension of this partnership marks a new chapter in this fruitful relationship.

In a statement issued by the lender, Group Head for Agriculture and Solid Minerals Finance, Dr. Olushola Obikanye, said the funding will further deepen Sterling’s agricultural investments in the agribusiness industry, promote sustainable practises, and encourage farmers to explore environment-friendly systems.

Also speaking on the funding, Sterling Bank’s Group Head for Energy, Dele Faseemo, said the fund will seek to increase Sterling’s funding for renewable energy installations in the agricultural sector and will positively impact lending in the sector as well as the Nigerian economy.

Ms Doris Koehn, chair of the AATIF Board of Directors said of the deal,

“When we first invested in Sterling Bank, we were keen to help realise its impressive ambitions in growing its agricultural portfolio in Nigeria. 4 ½ years later, we are proud to renew our partnership with the Bank and are focused on further enabling its efforts towards serving local smallholder farmers.”

The Bank has become renowned as one of the key partners and lenders to the agricultural sector, with over N100 billion, or approximately 13 percent of its lending portfolio, currently financing agricultural businesses across Nigeria. This, amongst other initiatives such as the Agriculture Summit Africa; the continent’s largest private sector-driven conference on the industry, and the Nigerian Farmers’ Radio; an educative radio program promoting good agricultural practices aired in all geo-political zones of Nigeria, has endeared the bank to primary producers, aggregators, commodity processors, and exporters.

These initiatives recently saw Sterling awarded the best-participating bank by the Agric Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund.

Sterling has also innovated in the renewable energy space with the launch of Imperium, its solution to power homes and businesses, and is currently in the final stages of deploying Nigeria’s largest solar-powered solution for a commercial property with the ongoing transformation of its Lagos Marina headquarters. The 18-storey building has been fitted with over 3,000 photovoltaic panels and will generate power from renewable sources.

Agriculture and Renewable Energy form two of the five core pillars of Sterling’s now famous HEART strategy. With the remaining sectors being Health, Education and Transportation.

About Sterling Bank Plc

Sterling Bank Plc “Your one-customer bank” is a full-service national commercial bank in Nigeria. At Sterling Bank, our customers are our number one priority, and we value their feedback and ideas.

In over 60 years of operations, Sterling Bank (formerly NAL Bank) has evolved from the nation’s pre-eminent investment banking institution to a fully-fledged commercial bank; and completed a merger with 4 other banks – Indo-Nigeria Merchant Bank, Magnum Trust Bank, NBM Bank and Trust Bank of Africa – as part of the 2006 consolidation of the Nigerian banking industry.

The Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF)

The Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund is a public-private partnership dedicated to promoting the food / agri sector across Africa by providing patient capital and technical assistance. The fund provides debt financing to small, medium, and large-scale agribusinesses along the entire agriculture value chain, as well as financial institutions active in the sector. DWS is acting as investment advisor to AATIF. More information and contact details can be found on