BoI advocates value addition to stimulate economic growth
To drive this agenda, the bank noted that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) need to be encouraged.
The Managing Director, BoI, Rasheed Olaoluwa, represented by the Divisional Director, Large Enterprises, Joseph Babatunde during the 16th yearly lecture organised by Catholic Brothers United (CBU), tagged Enhancing Small and Medium Scale Business: A viable tool for poverty eradication, said commodity based industrialisation will see the nation concentrate more on value addition on its agricultural produce rather than exporting them unprocessed.
“This is the way to go to bail us out from the situation we have found ourselves as a result of the plummeting oil price in the international market,” he said.
He said according to reports from World Bank in July 2014, Nigeria is one out of five of the poorest people in the world with India leading in the category.
He added that Nigeria must encourage MSMEs because of its ability to create equitable distribution of income, low capital for start-ups, greatest capacity to generate employment opportunities and connection with large enterprises in terms of materials.
Meanwhile, Babatunde highlighted some of the challenges hindering the growth of MSMEs, stressing the Development Finance Institution’s (DFI’s) commitment to support the growth of the sector.
“We have appointed Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) to help you access our loans with ease. You can also visit our website anytime to look up finance option to support your businesses,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the chairman, Diamond Bank Plc, Sir. Chris Ogbechie, said no country is more dynamic than Nigeria in Africa in terms of businesses, saying that MSMEs have pivotal role to play in economic development.
He said Nigeria has 40 per cent arable land than Thailand, but stressed that Nigeria still depends on Thailand for food.
“This is not supposed to be. There is no country in Africa that is more dynamic than Nigeria when it comes to businesses courtesy of the nation’s vibrant SME sector,” he added.
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