The Bank of Industry (BoI) on Tuesday disclosed that it has disbursed loans worth N969.7 billion to borrowers in five years to support various businesses.
BoI Deputy Head, Business Development, Mrs Aderonke Akinluyi, disclosed this at a webinar by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos.
Akinluyi said the funds were disbursed between 2015 and 2020 to over three million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and 653 large enterprises.
Speaking on the theme: “Funding Opportunities for Businesses in the Bank of Industry,” Akinluyi said the bank during the period created 6.98 million direct and indirect jobs.
She also disclosed that the bank was currently collaborating with over 330 Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) to offer advisory and business support services aimed at improving intending MSMEs.
“Our business model reflects our goal to drive development through financial and advisory support to all customer levels, with dedicated teams for MSMEs, youth and women led enterprises.
“Our collaboration with the BDSPs ensures that the MSMEs are almost handheld in structuring, and preparing their business models and plans.
“The collaboration also provides other entrepreneurial training as required and are split across the regional, state and national categories,” she said.
Mr Obaro Osah, Divisional Head, SME, South, BoI, debunked some perceptions associated with accessing funding from the bank.
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Some of the perceptions, he said were, the need to know and pay someone at the BoI, the one year wait of processing to access funds and the myth that the bank only supported manufacturing industries.
” The loan application approval processing timeline for loans below N10 million is four weeks, loans between N10 and N100 million is six to eight weeks.
“Loans above N100 million to N500 million is eight to10 weeks,” he said.
Mr Femi Shittu, Group Head, Engineering and Technology, BoI, listed the bank’s selected loan products to include: agro mechanisation, food and agro commodity processing and commercialisation of the solar energy.
“The selected managed intervention fund include the Nigerian Artisanal and Small Scale Miners Finance Support Fund of N2.5 billion with a five per cent per annum interest rate.
“The Nigerian Content Intervention Fund of 350 million dollars to support indigenous oil and gas players is also available,” Shittu said.
In her remarks, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President, LCCI, said limited access to funding was one of the biggest constraints facing businesses, especially MSMEs.
Mabogunje noted that a report by PriceWaterhouse Coopers, revealed that Nigerian SMEs had a funding gap of about N617 billion as of 2019.
According to her, evidence shows that majority of Nigerian MSMEs have not significantly benefited from available financing opportunities in the country.
She attributed the development to lack of information (on the part of businesses) about the funding schemes offered by different institutions and the inability to meet the requirements for funding.
Others, she added, were contravening application guidelines, submission of wrong or outdated documents (such as tax certificate, financial reports, CAC registration certificate) and poor record keeping.
“Also, poor credit history such as failure to service previous facility prevents business owners from accessing another is also a factor.
“The combination of these factors account for the challenges of access to credit by the SMEs.
“We are delighted to have the Bank of Industry present their funding propositions to our members at this event.
“The event is to facilitate conversations on the various funding opportunities within the purview of the BoI available to members of the Nigerian business community,” she said.