• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BoI positions for more funding for businesses, urges legislative support

BoI positions for more funding for businesses, urges legislative support

Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BoI) has positioned for more funding to help finance projects and businesses while calling for legislative support.

This comes as the House of Representatives Committee on Industry has highlighted a pressing push for policy reforms and increased budgetary allocations for financial support across various critical sectors, primarily focusing on the industrial and energy sectors to bolster economic growth and regional stability.

The Committee emphasised the pivotal role of the Bank of Industry in championing economic growth through its provision of single-digit interest loans.

These loans, according to the committee, are crucial for SMEs that would otherwise struggle under the burdensome interest rates charged by commercial banks, which can soar between 20 to 30 percent.

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Speaking during a visit to the BoI office in Lagos and a tour of some key projects funded by the bank, Enitan Dolapo-Badru, Chairman of the Committee, emphasised the importance of supporting banking institutions like BoI, which offer single-digit interest rates, as crucial for the survival and competitiveness of domestic industries.

According to him, industries are suffocating under high interest rates, noting that without remedial action, sectors crucial for the economic backbone like manufacturing will continue to decline.

Dolapo-Badru highlighted the demise of once-thriving companies such as Dunlop and Michelin, underscoring the dire need for financial structures that can truly support the industry.

He noted that the advantageous rates offered by BoI not only sustain businesses but also mitigate the cost pressures transferred to consumers, setting BoI apart from other financial institutions.

However, he articulated a need for legislative support for the enhancement of the legal framework governing the to amplify its performance and extend its reach.

In response, Omar Shekarau, executive director of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises at the BoI, detailed ongoing efforts to address these concerns while calling for legislative support for more funding to help finance projects and businesses.

He said BoI has expanded its reach in the northeastern states, by setting up more accessible offices and offering tailored financial products designed to foster SMEs.

Shekarau explained that BoI’s commitment extends beyond simple financial support as it is about creating ecosystems where industries and regions can self-sustain and prosper.

He announced BoI’s plan to invest more funds into programs specified for rural areas as well as commencing special projects for women, SMEs and youths, while also relaunching two of its programs targeted at small businesses and young entrepreneurs.

Shekarau said the convergence of legislative effort and financial strategy could herald a new era of sustained growth and stability in Nigeria’s most vulnerable regions and sectors.