By Oluwafunke Ishola/Taiye Bayerohi
Mr Adetokunbo Akinsola, Head, SME Group, Bank of Industry (BoI), said the bank disbursed N36.82 billion as loans in its Large Enterprise Directorate between January and September.
Akinsola, represented by Mr Obaro Osa, gave the figure during the bank’s SME Forum held at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair.
“BoI is positioned to deepen finance to small and large enterprises for the expansion of productivity and job creation in the industrial sector.
“Under the large enterprise directorate, Food Processing Group and Agro-Processing Group, disbursed N13.5 billion and N3.099 billion loans respectively to food and agro-based businesses.
“N2.9 billion loan was disbursed by the Solid Mineral Group while Gas and Petrochemical Group disbursed N5.03 billion in the said period,’’ he said.
Akinsola said that the Gender and Creative Industry Group through its segment based products namely; Fashion Fund and Nollyfund, disbursed N1.8 billion and N665 million.
“N10 billion was disbursed to businesses under the Engineering and Technology group while N497 billion was disbursed under CBN’s Intervention funds, through commercial banks to 600 beneficiaries, ’’ he said.
According to him, BoI’s strategic focus is to drive the financial inclusion of the unbanked population of artisans and market women toward building an inclusive economy.
Earlier, Mrs Nike Akande, President, LCCI, advised SMEs to be innovative through introduction of new products and services, deployment of technology and participation at trade fairs.
She also proposed exploring new market trends and investigating new sources of raw materials that do not require foreign exchange.
Akande commended BoI’s special intervention funds for youths and women entrepreneurs, geared toward job creation and industrialisation.
She said that the industrial sector required credit support from development institutions like BoI to thrive in the country’s quest for local production, import reduction and currency stability.