BoI secures AfDB’s $100mfacility for SMEs
According to the bank, the line of credit, which is designed for on-lending to SMEs engaged in export-oriented businesses, is the first of such foreign facility accessed by BoI after its reconstruction in 2001 out of the defunct Nigeria Industrial Development Bank (NIDB).
The bank, in a statement at the weekend, explained that already, the first tranche of $50 million was recently disbursed to BoI from AfDB for on-lending to small businesses engaged in export-oriented businesses with capacity to generate foreign exchange.
BoI added that the credit approval was received as a result of the implementation of various strategies and plans which have enhanced its operations and repositioned it to better tackle the current challenges of Nigerian small businesses.
“In order to deepen the impact of the facility, BoI hired an international firm, Messrs. BDO/GBRW, based on African Development Bank’s quality selection procedure, to render capacity building services to BoI staff and the prospective SME customers.
“The capacity building services would enhance the business capabilities of the SME customers thereby enabling them to better manage their businesses and mitigate risks. The capacity building would also strengthen the ability of staff members to manage small business loans and the related risk management issues.
“BoI wishes to acknowledge the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) among other stakeholders for facilitating access to the Line of Credit”, the statement read in part.
The bank however urged prospective entrepreneurs engaged in export-oriented businesses with potential to earn foreign exchange to submit their applications to facilitate access to the facility.
It could be recalled that the bank had within the last one year, embarked on various reforms while unveiling innovative products to address financing gaps in the real sector, with emphasis on small businesses.