The Bank of Industry (BoI) said it has initiated moves with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Nigeria Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) to simplify loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country by de-risking its loan portfolios to small businesses.
Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan, disclosed this, in Abuja, at a meeting with officials of the Secretariat of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). He said the bank is working closely with the agencies to embark on SMEs’ rating and how to ensure easier credit lending to those that meet risk-acceptance criteria for loan access.
Pitan said the bank is taking steps to ascertain the credit behaviour of small and medium enterprises aimed at ensuring their easier access to credits.
“We are working with SMEDAN and NEXIM together to have a credit registry data. Once we have that kind of data, by the end of the year, it will help us to monitor the credit behaviour of people and improve access to credit by them. People say accessing credit from the BoI is difficult because we are asking of bank guarantees. Yes, we do ask for bank guarantees, but it is not in all our credits that we ask for such guarantees.”
“There are some facilities that all you require are two guarantors, such as the programme we have for young graduates. What is important is that we want Nigerians to know that borrowing from BoI is not to access your own share of the national cake,” he stated.
Earlier in her remarks, the Coordinator of PEBEC Secretariat, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, called on the bank to that small business owners have easier access to credit. She said PEBEC was working with many agencies of government to make it easier for people to do business in Nigeria.
According to her, the ease by which small businesses access credit from banks plays a vital role in the country’s ease of doing business ranking by the World Bank.