The Agricultural Finance Corporation has been recognized as one of the best-performing development finance institutions (DFIs) at the just concluded annual CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) in Abuja, Nigeria.
This was announced at a forum attended by the AFC Managing Director, Lucas Meso, and the Board Chairman Mr. Franklin Bett. The Corporation was awarded the A+ rating on the basis on its compliance with the best standards and practices in the areas assessed.
The Corporation’s MD said the results were indicative of AFC’s continued efforts to reform and sustain its governance, financial and operational standards.
According to Mr. Meso, the concerted efforts to enhance the Corporation’s efficiency and strengthen its creditworthiness have had a significant impact on its operations. These efforts have seen the Corporation move from a D rating in 2011 to A+ in 2017.
“The ongoing reforms are designed to give our customers world class service in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Mr. Meso.
“The rating is testament to our team’s hard work, commitment and ability to manage change as the needs of our customers and partners shift every waking day,” he added.
The Agricultural Finance Corporation was assessed with the AADFI prudential standards, guidelines and rating system (PSGRS) during 2016 peer review exercise. The A+ rating was based on certified results of the assessments in the areas of governance, financial and operational standards, in which the Corporation scored a total of 88%.
Mr. Meso further noted that the improved rating would position the Corporation favourably as it went out to mobilize resources to finance agricultural development within the country.
The Peer Review is designed to improve the effectiveness of development banks in service delivery and benchmarking their standards with similar institutions outside Africa.
The review focuses on governance and management, financial, prudential and operational standards. Specific parameters include management independence, commercial principles, accounting and auditing and management information systems and procedures. Others are corporate citizen governance standards, capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality, risk management and lending policies.
The Agricultural Finance Corporation has been a member institution of AADFI for 10 years, and was one of the institutions involved in developing the standards.
The Association seeks to speed up regional integration and socioeconomic development in Africa through promoting sustainable financing and strengthening of cooperation among African banks and financial institutions.