By Naomi Uzor
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has unveiled plans for members of the Nigerian Creative Industry to access its facilities, as intervention fund to the sector hits N2 billion.
Speaking during a visit to the set of a film by Kunle Afolayan at the weekend, Managing Director, BoI, Rasheed Olaoluwa, said seven projects are presently accessing the bank’s facilities and another ten are at different stages of loan approval. He explained that the bank has restructured its operations to improve access to its services, adding that the peculiarity of each sector is being considered for loan disbursements.
According to him, the bank has relaxed its criteria to aid access to the facilities adding that viable distribution channels are equally being financed to aid loan repayment as well as mitigate default by stakeholders. He added that the bank, in line with its mandate had developed a special product tagged, “BoI NollyFund”, under which Nigeria’s leading movie producers will receive financial support to produce international quality films and screen them through various platforms of movie distribution available both in Nigeria and internationally.
He said: “To support this process and ensure that only commercially viable scripts with good story-lines benefit from the scheme, the Bank did set up a NollyFund Implementation Advisory Group to advise the institution on loan approval to the creative industry.”
“The Group’s mandate is to critically review all the film scripts and associated budgets submitted to BoI by movie producers and make technical recommendations to BoI management for final credit appraisal and subsequent approval in line with the Bank’s credit policy. The visit to Kunle
Afolayan’s set for the production of his new movie, ‘The C.E.O’, is part of the bank’s activities in assessing the utilisation of the facility approved for a project. It is the same way when we visit factories to see how funds were utilised.
“NollyFund had an initial programme limit of N1.0billion and a single obligor limit of N50million for individual loans. However, over N2 billion has been accessed so far by the industry. Kunle Afolayan is the first person to access the fund, while others are underway”.
On his part, Movie Producer, Kunle Afolayan commended the bank for improving access to the facility, noting that the project wouldn’t have started without funding from the bank.
“The BoI initiative for the creative industry should be encouraged. We had applied for facility some few back but we got denied. With the restructuring of the loan processes, we have been able to access the funds easily, while the innovative approach to financing by the bank is highly commendable,” he added.