BoI stakes N24.8b on 54 enterprises in Q1
Unveils N10b empowerment initiative for SMEs, youths
To further deepen its intervention to enterprises in the real sector, the Bank of Industry has approved N24.8 billion worth of loans to 54 enterprises across six sectors within the first quarter of 2016.
Besides, the Bank has also has launched a N10 billion facility for lending under its Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme to intensify its youth empowerment efforts and improve small businesses’ access to its facilities.
The initiative, which is designed to address youth unemployment in the country, would see the bank partnering 11 development partners in building capacity of the youths by equipping them with the requisite entrepreneurial knowledge and skills while BoI funds their business plans, to enable them to be self-employed and manage their own businesses.
According to the Bank’s Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Waheed Olagunju, the bank approved loans worth N24.8b to 54 Enterprises in the first quarter of 2016, with 26 of them being small and medium enterprises while 28 are Large Enterprises.
Olagunju explained that more than 110 new jobs are expected to be created by the assisted enterprises.
Specifically, a sectoral breakdown of loans approved by the Bank of Industry in the first quarter of 2016 showed that agro-processing sector received 39.1 per cent of the funds, followed by gas and petrochemicals with 22.5 per cent; solid minerals, 19.6 per cent; while engineering and technology had a share of 10.6 per cent.
Similarly, the lines of credit to micro finance banks under the bottom of the pyramid showed entertainment receiving 1.4 per cent and scheme, 6.8 per cent.
On the YES initiative, Olagunju explained that each beneficiary of the programme can access a loan up to a maximum of N5 million for the procurement of machinery and equipment as well as for working capital, at a single digit interest rate of nine per cent, with a loan tenor of between three to five years inclusive of six months moratorium.
Earlier, the bank had sealed a pact with 11 Enterprise Development Centres and capacity building consultants to drive its Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme.
With participants expected to be drawn from young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years, the bank noted that the initiative will further kindle the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerian youths.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah said: “These are extraordinary times, for us as Nigerians and as a government, as we continue to grasp with the sharp decline in revenue from crude oil which has been the main stay of our economy. We must however not be unmindful of the opportunity this situation presents.
“It is important we look inwards in this period and look at ways of exploiting the entrepreneurial spirit and zeal of our people. The intense energy of our large youthful population is a strength that we need to exploit by re-orientating them towards positive engagement in entrepreneurship.
“The nation’s unemployment rate had assumed a worrisome state in view of its implication for national development and competitiveness.
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