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BoI spends N27.17bn in two years on SMEs, says sector strategic to economic development

The Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Waheed Olagunju, has revealed that the bank supported the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) between 2015 and last year.

It would be recalled that BoI has a N310bn five­year investment strategy plan spanning 2014 to 2019.

Explaining the activities of the financial body in driving the growth of budding businesses in Nigeria, Olagunju said BoI will continue to encourage the sector in 2017 with more funding and training for new business developers.

Speaking at a function in Offa, Kwara State, he said the lender’s loan approvals to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises amounted to N10.4bn in 2015, and N16.77bn in 2016.

Additional details show that the figure represents an increase of 61.3 per cent.

However, the actual loan disbursement to the MSMEs was N5.64bn in 2015, and N8.02bn in 2016, a development he described as an improvement of 42.2 per cent.

Loan collections from the MSMEs were N4.07bn in 2015 and N5.54bn in 2016, a 36.1 per cent increase.

He said, “We will continue to do what we know how best to do, which is promoting potentially viable enterprises. We have five­year strategy plan that we adopted in 2014. Under that plan, for example, for the SMEs, we earmarked N310bn over a five­year period. We are still committed to that plan.

 “We are still committed to the funding, majorly for the SME sector in Nigeria because you have the highest multiplier effect per unit of investment in the SME sector, especially in the agricultural space; that is where you have the highest developmental impact. Look at the multiplier effect of developmental impact vertically and horizontally, it is in the agricultural sector that you have the highest impact because you have the highest value chain there.”