By Victoria Ojeme
THE Bank of Industry (BoI) has disbursed loan in excess of N47billion to support entrepreneurs in Kaduna State in the micro, small and medium enterprises, MSMEs, category, Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, has said. Pitan, who disclosed this at a meeting with the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, added that the loan facility engendered over 84,500 direct and indirect jobs.
He said the funds spanned across various sectors of the state’s economy such as Argo-business, petrochemical and gas, metal fabrication, infrastructure and solid minerals.
The BoI boss also named business concerns in the state that have benefitted from the bank loan facility to include, United Nigerian Textiles Plc, Special Sunrise Plastic, Ashwarina Genera Merchants Lmt, Chellco Industries Limited, Sundavic Metal Construction, and Mouka Foam Ltd.He said,
“Collectively, as at 31st August, 2017, the bank had provided loans in excess of N47billion to large, SMEs and MSMEs across the state with over 84,500 direct and indirect jobs created under the different funding windows such as BoI fund, BoI/KDSG Matching fund(KADSTEP), BoI-Dangote fund, GEEP(Market Moni), FGN MSME fund, YES-P fund and GEF fund.
“Briefing the governor on the loan disbursement to entrepreneurs under the Kaduna Start up Entrepreneurship Programme, KADSTED, the bank’s CEO noted that utilization of the fund had progressively improved.
According to him, while utilization stood at N16,347,320 million in Octomber 2016, it rose to N253,781,365milliom in August 2017, representing 1453 per cent increment.
He, however, lamented that the programme had not reached the expected pace due to the inability of graduates under the KADSTEP programme to meet up with the pre-disbursement conditions.Under the scheme, applicants are expected to deposit a mandatory 5 per cent of the loan value as cash collateral.
It was initially pegged at 10 per cent, but was later reviewed to 5 per cent when it was discovered that some of the beneficiaries could not afford it.Pitan called on the governor to intervene to further vary the collateral condition to enable the fund achieve its desired objective of raving up activities in the real sector of the state.
“The bank as usual, will continue to liaise with the office of the senior adviser/counsellor to His Excellency on Investment on ways to further review the pre-conditions which will pave way to clear the huge outstanding approvals, thereby fast tracking the disbursement,” he said.
The CEO of the bank also expressed his appreciation for the approval received from the governor for the expansion of the loan coverage, which, according to him, now covers other SMEs.Pitan noted that the increase in the utilization of the fund has enabled the bank to source proposal worth N335.5million in the first instance, adding that it had commenced the appraisal process.
Responding, governor el-Rufai, thank the bank for its various interventions in the state, stressing that these had helped in increasing the tempo of activities in the real sector of the state’s economy.
He attributed the slow pace of KADSTEP to the attitude of the people who often see government money as a political largesse.
In order to address that, he assured the bank delegation that efforts were in the offing to conduct an enlightenment programme in the state to educate the people to imbibe the culture of loan repayment.
The bank’s delegation, headed by its managing director, also seized the opportunity of the working visit to the state to tour some of the business concerns being sponsored by the bank.Some of the factory visited included:
Chellco Industries Limited, Special Sunrise Plastic, Sundavic Metal Construction, Mouka Limited, United Nigerian Textiles, and Supertex Limited. Addressing journalists at the end of the inspection, Pitan noted that although some of the factories were yet to record 100 per cent capacity utilization, they were on the way to fully recovery.