Aliyu Abdulhameed, the pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), is an adept Agricultural Economist, corporate development expert and programme management specialist with varied experience in institution building, process development and operational improvement.

With a rich blend of formal learning, passion, research, and hands-on experience in both the private and public sectors, Abdulhameed has become one of the foremost ambassadors of agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria and indeed Africa. His experience cuts across consulting, commercial agricultural production and transformation, commodity marketing, input procurement and supplies as well as agricultural extension, transportation and logistics. This broad exposure in agriculture and agribusiness made him the preferred candidate to lead Nigeria’s most robust and most innovative Agriculture Sector-focused Development Finance Institution (DFI) to date, a job he has held for the last six years.

In NIRSAL Plc, Abdulhameed is building an avant-garde institution that is playing a key role in Nigeria’s fight against poverty and unemployment through the conceptualization and deployment of agricultural programmes designed to engage and enrich millions of smallholder farmers and other value chain actors through the participation of commercial financiers.

Under Abdulhameed’s leadership, NIRSAL has attracted the positive attention of respected global players in the agriculture sector including African Development Bank (AfDB), Groupe Credit Agricole du Maroc (GCAM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ), German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Labour Organization (ILO), Microsoft, Clarmondial, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), etc.

Inspired by NIRSAL Plc’s track record of rigour and impact, governments across Africa are giving serious consideration to the NIRSAL model. Some have initiated contact with NIRSAL Plc and are at various levels of discussion with the Abdulhameed-led management on the possible replication of the NIRSAL model in their respective jurisdictions.

Aliyu Abdulhameed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with specialization in Public Policy from the Nigerian Defense Academy, with a strong focus on the organic link between Food Security and National Security. He also obtained an Executive Masters Certification in Project Management from the Project Management College, UK. Amongst several other certifications, Mr. Abdulhameed completed a Risk Management training under the Executive Education Programme of the Imperial College, London, and an Effective Execution of Organizational Strategy training at the Aresty Institute of Executive Education, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

A practical economist, Abdulhameed is a Fellow of the Microfinance Association of the United Kingdom, the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA) in Nigeria, and a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered). He is a Senior Associate Member of the Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), and an Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

In a development that highlights Abdulhameed’s growing regional influence, he was conferred with the Grande Chancellerie De L’Ordre Du Muno Award in June 2018 by Mr. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo. The award came after Abdulhameed successfully led the team that established the Togo Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (TIRSAL/MIFA) – a replica institution of NIRSAL. This is with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Abdulhameed is also a two-time winner of the CEO Today Global Award. He was recognized in 2021 and 2022 for his outstanding contribution representing NIRSAL Plc”. The CEO Today Global Award identifies and honours the most respected companies and their C-level executives operating across the globe.