By Franklin Alli
The Bank of IndustryÂ (BOI) should not beÂ Â allowed to monopolise the sourcing and disbursing of the proposed N500 billion Industrial Revival Fund (IRF), according toÂ Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA).
President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), Barr. Dele Oye, who reacted said: â€œitâ€™s a welcome development , but if the bail out package is to achieve optimal result, government should structure the implementation of the fund in such a way that the BOI should domicile the money with commercial banks for disbursement to would-be beneficiary industrialists.
â€œThe fund after itâ€™s sourced should be disbursed through the normal banks(commercials bank),and not through BOI itself because BOI is a government establishment.Â If the fund is sourced and disbursed alone by BOI, there might be high risk of failure due to political concession,â€ he stated.
â€œIf you restrict the sourcing and disbursing to BOI political concession would make a nonsense of the laudable thrust,â€ he warned.
But efforts to get MAN, NACCIMA and other key stakeholdersâ€™ position on the bailout plans by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa, to bring back ailing industries with the N500 billion , failed as there was neither response to calls nor text messages.
The ABUCCIMA boss further counselled that industrialists who access the money should be made to pay back within 3-5 years tenure and at a minimal interest rate.
He also called for bailout in other areas, too , particularly power, because as he puts itâ€œIf you revive industries withoutÂ stable electricity supply , bulk of the money will be spent on diesel, LPFO ,etc.â€
Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce and Industry, said that the proposal has been passed to the Economic Management Team through the Ministry of Finance and they are studying it.
He, however, did not give the details of the package – whether it is going to be a loan or a grant.
He said that the bailout for the textile industry had been increased from N70 billion to N100 billion, although the money, according to him, was not in the 2009 budget.
Udenwa said: â€œWe have been hearing of the N70 billion textile intervention fund. I have gone to the Ministry of Finance to inquire about it. They said there was no place the N70 billion was kept. That N70 billion, at least, from the records, is nowhere.
â€œHowever, the President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua regime is very concerned about the plight of the textile sector. This regime has decided to put up a new package and the Bank of Industry (BoI) has now taken the responsibility of sourcing for funds.
â€œThere is a committee under my chairmanship which proposed a new package which was sent to BoI. Today, we are talking about N100 billion because we know the problem is more than N70 billion.â€
He stated that the fund was now being sourced for, disclosing that â€œwe are trying to get N10 billion from the National Agriculture Development Fund; N3 billion contribution from the Ministry and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Organisation) has promised to contribute 40 million Euros.â€
On the N70 billion textile revival fund, the minister said the fund was never put together before the exit of the last administration saying, â€œFrom my investigations at the finance ministry, the N70 billion is nowhere. This regime has decided to put up a new package and the Bank of Industry (BOI) has now taken the responsibility of sourcing for funds.
â€œInstead of N70 billion, we are now talking about N100 billion. We are trying to get N10 billion from the Agric fund, the Debt Management Office (DMO) will contribute N3 billion, while UNIDO has promised to contribute 40 million Euros.â€