By Franklin Alli
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has claimed to have helped manufacturing industries across the country to generate 815,000 jobs between 2005 and 2009.
Investigation conducted by Vanguard showed that between the period under review, job created in the industrial landscape recorded by the bank surged from 150,000 in 2005 to more than 815,000 as at October 2009 According to the source, the bankâ€™s cumulative value of loan also went up from N9.8 billion in 2005 to N58.5 billion in the current year out of this figure, N30.7 billion was disbursed on various projects.
Findings further revealed that current approved loan awaiting to be disbursed to beneficiary industrialists stood at N17.5 billion while loans to MSME also went up from 35 per cent to 96 per cent Similarly, the number of projects approved also snowballed from 88 to 675 while portfolio at risk decreased from 65 percent to less than 21 percent.
The source further noted that the bankâ€™s recent performance was driven by paradigm shift, which include allocation of 85 per cent of its resources to financing Small and Medium Enterprises that uses local raw materials, especially agricultural produce and have high employment generation and export potentials.Â Â Â Â Â The Bank of Industry was established in October, 2001.
Its authorised share capital it was learnt has just been increased to N250 billion from the initial N50 billion.
The mandate of BOI includes the provision of assistance to large and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for their expansion, diversification, modernization and rehabilitation of ailing industries.
The bank is also involved in promoting linkages between Small and Medium Enterprises and those promoted by women, as well as deepening the bankâ€™s credits delivery process by lending to cooperative groups under collective guarantee arrangement and the establishment of micro finance banks.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa, has lauded the bankâ€™s performance in recent years.Â Â He further noted that if the bank is to avoid sharing the same fate with the defunct Nigerian Industrial Development Bank, efforts should be made by the federal government to adequately fund it.
â€œBut Nigeria is not getting industrialised as fast as expected because the bank is not adequately funded. Its share capital as at today is N250billion..Â It is only when long term funding is provided for industries at manageable rates that country can start making concrete statements about industrialisation.
â€œYou cannot build industries with short term loan. Interest rates in commercial banks are high, up to 20 or 25 per cent. BOI is meant to provide the long term loans and I hope that the federal government will capitalise the bank so that it can support genuine industrialists. We do not want what killed NIDB to also kill BOI,â€ he said.