BoI’s disbursements to Osun SMEs hit N2.84b
…As the DFI expands operations to Ibadan, Awka, Anambra, Osogbo
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has stated that its intervention to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and industrial sectors in the Osun state has hit over N2.84 billion as at the end of April, 2015.
The Managing Director, BoI, Rasheed Olaoluwa explained that a total of N449.5 million has been disbursed to 61 enterprises out of the N500 million the Osun State government and BoI jointly contributed in 2009 for on-lending to MSMEs while an additional disbursement of N2.4 billion was approved for 28 enterprises in the State solely by the bank.
Olaoluwa during the commissioning of the bank’s Osun State office in Osogbo pointed out that the move by the DFI was to drive growth and development of SMEs and industrial sector while creating job opportunities in the State and for the nation at large.
He said the commissioning was also coming on the heels of efforts by the bank to bring its intervention and business advisory services closer to the South West region.
“We use to have seven locations in Nigeria and in the first phase of our expansion, we agreed to add another seven stations. Last month we commissioned the Ibadan State office which was like a regional office for the South-west and only last Thursday, we commissioned our offices in Awka and Anambra State,” he said.
“The State stands to benefit from the support that BoI can provide to SMEs because before now, SMEs in the State had to travel Akure which was where our only regional office in the south west was located, but now that we have offices in Ibadan and Ogbomoso, it means that we have close proximity to SMEs in the south west to be able to access long term loans from the BOI,” he stressed.
“It is our hope and expectation that this development will further strengthen the existing partnership between BoI and the Osun State government by way of enhancing financial inclusion for entrepreneurs in the State as well as vastly improve our service Turn-Around-Time to our customers,” he said.
The BoI boss commended the Osun State government’s Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O-YES), describing it as the biggest grass root youth empowerment initiative in the country, pointing out that the programme designed to train youths in various technical and vocational skills, has also earned global recognition by the World Bank.
“We want to commend the Governor, Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for providing this office and location for BoI. We also want to wish the people of Osun State a giant stride in terms of industrial and technological development,” he said.
He added that BoI has embarked on some initiatives aimed at providing financial and business support for entrepreneurs in the country, saying that one of such initiatives was the accreditation of 122 Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs), where about 28 have national coverage with 39 specifically covering the South West Geopolitical zone in the nation.
In his words, “If SMEs go to these BDSPs, they will be able to get the loans. We have negotiated and we have agreed very reasonable token fees for the SMEs to pay. If you are applying for a loan as less than N10 million, all you pay to these BDSPs is just N10, 000 and if the loan is about N10 million and N50 million, all you have to do to get your business plan done to international quality you pay N25,000 and if the loan amount is N50 million and N200 million, the service charge is N50,000.”
Also speaking at the event, the Governor, Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola explained that the importance of the bank in providing affordable fund for industrial development cannot be over emphasized.
The governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Osun State, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori said the time to diversify the nation’s economy through an aggressive industrialization drive is now, saying that this is the way to go to free the nation from the shackles of economic stagnation and its dire consequences occasioned by crash in the price of petroleum.
She called on the BoI to inject sizeable investible fund to the State for immediate and massive industrial investment in the State, pledging the State’s commitment to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
She also called on both local and foreign investors to make Osun their choice investment destination, stating that investment decisions will be well placed as enduring precursors for profitable investment are present in the State while the State industrial policy is investor-friendly.