By Franklin Ali
THE Bank of Industry, BoI, has commenced granting loans to micro entrepreneurs in the economy through 14 microfinance banks with branches nationwide. Micro entrepreneurs include the likes of shoemakers, tailors, snacks producers, furniture makers, people in bakery business, among others.
Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director, BoI, disclosed this, weekend, during presentation of cheque totalling N2 billion to three microfinance banks: LAPO MFB, Fortis MFB and Lotus Capital.
At the ceremony held in Lagos, Olagunju said: “BoI is currently in partnership with 11 microfinance banks under the BOP scheme to which the sum of N1.1 billion had earlier been disbursed.
The inclusion of LAPO MFB (N1.0 billion, Fortis MFB N500 million and Lotus Capital N500 million) will bring the number of such participants to 14 and a total sum disbursed for on-lending to micro entrepreneurs under the programme to N3. 1billion.”
Hajia Hazara Adeola, Managing Director, Lotus Capital Limited, lauded BoI for “living true to its credos for extending credits to those at the bottom of the pyramid to include those who are not economically active or have access to finance to grow their business and to bring Nigeria out of the recession, and for choosing us to be part of the economic revival of our nation.”
Also speaking, Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Managing Director LAPO Microfinance Bank, said: “I am delighted today for what we are doing. We started this process of engagement several years ago till we got to this point. I give credit to the current management of the bank that today we have signed what we desired several years ago.
“The envisioned economic revitalization can only take place if we effectively engage a large number of Nigerians at the bottom end of the society and doing that will require financing and so the essence of this partnership between BoI and LAPO, is to be able to extend financial services that are critical to enhancing the productivity of people at the bottom of the pyramid for them to be able to make their contributions to the society. I want to assure you that this partnership would be very successful going by the numbers of people we are going to empower.’’