BoI earmarks N1.2trn to boost entrepreneurship

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BANKlogo of Industry (BoI) has earmarked about N1.2 trillion to support entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, even as it plans to support over 30,000 entrepreneurs over the next two years.

Mr. Waheed Olagunju, BoI’s Executive Director, SMEs, stated this in Lagos, at a Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria (HBSAN) members’ forum with the theme, “Alternative sources of financing in a high interest rate environment”.

 

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Olagunju said the bank is well grounded to play a giant role in Nigeria’s quest for economic development and diversification. In his words: “We are contributing our quota towards industrializing the country, because what makes a clear difference between the rich and the poor countries of the world is the extent to which they are industrialized. We will continue to do our best and we will not relent in our efforts. 2017 is going to be much better than 2016, because the economy is already taking shape and things are likely going to get much better in 2017.”

 

He reiterated the resolve of the bank’s management to leverage Deposit Money Banks’ (DMBs) network in deploying funds to the real sector.

 

According to him, bridging the funding gap of about N5 trillion will require consolidated efforts of other stakeholders like the commercial banks, considering their capacity and network.

 

“We try to see how best to finance the industrial sector of the Nigerian economy and for BoI to be relevant as an alternative financing mechanism, we have to provide credit to the entire economy which indirectly means we should be able to support the real sector of the economy to the tune of N5 to N7 trillion per annum,” he stated.

 

According to him, Nigeria has what it takes to be among the top 10 economies of the world in no distant time, stressing that BoI will stop at nothing to make Nigeria great.

 

He stated: “Year-on-year, the bank has been growing and waxing stronger such that as at last year, we recorded our best financial performance. We have built on the experience we acquired in NIDB (Nigerian Industrial Development Bank), NBCI (Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Indistry) and NERFUND (National Economic Reconstruction Fund) in designing the credit policy and procedures of BoI. We are well positioned to mobilize resources from within and outside the country to support Nigeria’s industrial sector.”

 

Olagunju noted that despite the bad stories about Nigeria, investors are more than willing to invest in Nigeria, adding that prior to recession, Nigeria was ranked 4th in the world in terms of Return on Investment (RoI) with 35 per cent while positive growth indications from post recession shows that managers of fund outside the country have all indicated interest in doing business in the country.