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Ogbeh charges BoI to increase sector lending


Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju

Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju

In its bid to move away from its monolithic source of income and accelerate the diversification of the economy, the Federal Government has called on the Bank of Industry to increase lending to the agriculture sector and its value chain.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave the charge, when the management team of BoI, led by the bank’s Acting Managing Director, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, paid him a working visit in Abuja.

Ogbe said there was the urgent need to boost productivity along the agricultural value chain, particularly, with the attention of the current administration focusing on diversification to non-oil areas.

While commending the new management of the bank for the zeal with which it carries the mandate of the development finance institution, the minister noted that if the nation must increase the level of output of the sector, more funds should be channeled to the youth segment, who have the needed energy to drive it.

According to him, there is a lot of disenchantment in the country as a result of the huge level of unemployment.

The minister said government would put in place adequate mechanism as well as the needed support to ensure that borrowers repay the loans.

To achieve this, he said the ministry is planning to build an agro-processing park for young people, stressing that this would assist in reducing some of their operating costs. He said the park, to be modelled after the one built in China would have all the necessary infrastructure to support businesses.

In his response, the BoI boss said the request by the minister was in line with the objective of the bank in reducing the level of poverty and unemployment in the country.

Olagunju said, “we assure you that we are up to the task. We are ready to support the ministry and we will come up with business loan solution within the shortest time possible to fit your requests.”

The BoI boss also expressed the determination of the bank to further strengthen the existing collaboration between the bank and the ministry with a view to providing the needed funding to enable it play its catalytic role to the nation’s economy.

The meeting, which is aimed at further strengthening the existing relationship between the bank and the ministry, dates back to 2009 when both parties signed partnership agreement.

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