The Bank of Industry (BoI) has been recognised as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) bank of the year in Africa and also for raising the deal of the year through its €1 billion syndicated loan facility from the international capital market.
The Bank of Industry was given the award at the African Bankers’ Awards ceremony, which was held virtually on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meeting.
The award event featured financial institutions and projects from all 54 countries in Africa, as well as the international community.
The awards committee said the SME Bank of the year award was for an “Institution that has considerably catalyzed funding to the private sector in Africa and promoted enterprise development by facilitating credit and funding for SMEs and providing technical assistance; and supporting institutions for growth of SMEs.
“They have done this by expanding SME credit and growing SME support with linkage programmes.”
Receiving the award virtually in his office, Kayode Pitan, the bank’s managing director and CEO, thanked the award committee for the recognition and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the vision the bank is currently running with.
He said, “The award is very important to us because it means we are working in line with the President of Nigeria’s plan to have at least 10 million people employed and also support the SMEs to make that possible.
“So, once again we want to thank President and also thank the Federal and State Governors who are partnering with us to make this possible.
“We also want to thank commercial banks for supporting their customers to access the facilities we provide.
“Through our various programmes, we were able to support over 14,000 youths in 2019; and this year, we are working harder to improve on that achievement.”
The award came days after the Bank promised increased support for SMEs. The Bank’s Chairman Aliyu Abdulrahman Dikko declared on the sidelines of its 2019 Annual General Meeting that “Our greater emphasis now is really on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; we are all out to support them and going forward, this would be our continued emphasis.”
He said in 2017, lending to SMEs was about N8 billion but in 2019 the bank’s disbursement to SMEs rose to over N56 billion.
In demonstration of its commitment to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, BoI made a total disbursement of N53.0 billion to in 2019, a 56.3% year-on-year increase from N33.9 billion in 2018.
Dikko said to further increase the bank’s capacity to support SMEs, “in the course of 2019, we made significant progress towards improving the size of our loanable funds, leveraging our strategic partnerships in the international market and the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Bank was able to raise €1 billion through syndication by international banks for lending to SMES to create jobs.”