By Naomi Uzor
The Bank Of Industry (BOI) said it has approved over N1.360 billion under its cooperative financing window for disbursement to more than 220 associations involving about 25,000 employment opportunities.
The Assistant General Manager of BOI, Mr. Joseph Babatunde, disclosed this during the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises/Distributive Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)’s seminar/luncheon tagged “ Packaging Small and Medium Enterprises for Accessing Finance.”
According to him, the bank has approved over N1.360 billion under its cooperative financing window to more than 220 associations involving about 25,000 employment opportunities and it entails the creation of new products/businesses/ cum expansion of existing businesses.
He said that the programme ensures matching the funds provided by state governments for onward lending to projects from the partner states, collaborating with various multilateral development agencies in training of local entrepreneurs, which is Organised both locally and abroad, formation of cooperatives to access funds from banks and facilitating the partnership/franchising working arrangement between indigenous producers and foreign producers who are mainly Nigerians in the diaspora, amongst other.
“The bank has developed specialised skill and expertise in the management of special funds which include the National Automotive Development Council (NAC) fund, Business Development Fund for Women Entrepreneurs (BUDFOW), Cotton, Textile and Garmenting Development (CTRG) and rice processing fund.. The bank intends to significantly increase the volume and value of loans disbursed to core industrial sector” he stated.
He disclosed that the bank does not collect more than 10 per cent interest and is also managing the CBN N500 billion intervention fund for refinancing/restructuring of manufacturers/SMEs loans as well as for the power and aviation sectors
The President of LCCI, Otunba Femi Deru, said the lingering financial crisis has dried up credit to the private sector and particularly small and medium scale enterprises as access to finance has become extremely difficult and this has hindered the growth and sustenance of small businesses with dire consequences for employment generation and retention in Nigeria
“The lending institutions like the deposit money banks, the micro finance banks and finance houses have credit requirements and this is where the appropriate packaging of SMEs becomes important.
Today, risk management is much emphasized within the financial sector since the crises that rocked the banking sector last year. Banks may only give credit to SMEs that present themselves as profitable, viable and sustainable” he stated