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Nigeria’s economy will “slowly” recover from pandemic impacts, says BOI

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Nigeria's Bank of Industry (BOI) has said it believes the economy will slowly recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

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"The economy will recover and as it recovers from the effect of the pandemic, I do see a period of some growth," Toyin Adeniji, Executive Director of the BOI said in a chat with the Guardian.

She said the country has had time to "build some business-friendly policies" that will make Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) cluster.

Adeniji was reacting to the improvement reduction of business closures in the country as a result of the pandemic. According to The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), there was an 18% reduction in November 2020 as against 57% in August.

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GEEP was launched in 2016 with the aim to offer interest and collateral-free credit to the millions of Micro SMEs (MSMEs) operating at the bottom of the Nigerian economic pyramid.

"We will continue to see these clusters coming, we are going to see some of the creative and innovations coming up by a way of funding and empowerments," the BOI boss said, adding that the improvements will be lasting.

Although the pandemic had some adverse effects on businesses, Adeniji said increased digitalisation efforts as a result of industries adapting to the pandemic, really assisted the BOI to achieve more reach.

She said GEEP was able to reach over two million beneficiaries with the help of digital platforms, build a database of more than seven million beneficiaries, and also verified about five million of them through some "rigid" processes.

"Digitalisation also helps reduce cost and customisation," she added.

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In September, the Bank of Industry said it has a fully digitised loan record and biodata of all 2,418,936 GEEP beneficiaries. It said the programme relies heavily on technology to deliver its three loan products; namely TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.


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