By creating 2.6 million jobs per annum through numerous interventions, the Bank Of Industry (BOI) is targeting 10 million jobs over the next four years. The bank said that its target was to disburse N212 billion this year, which would lead in creating one million jobs. BoI’s Acting Managing Director, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, spoke yesterday in Abuja during the 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank.
He said that the bank’s focus was on financial liability, developmental impact and social development of the country. His words: “The bank is on course in 2016 to sur-passing the N83.5 billion that was disbursed in 2015. “As at the middle of the current year, the bank had approved loans totalling N95 billion to more than 400 enterprises and is working assiduously to approving more loans in the second half of 2016.
“This will ultimately see the meeting the institution’s disbarment target of N212 billion that can potentially lead to the creation of almost one million jobs in addition to the 1.6 million projected under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
“At the rate of 2.6 million jobs per annum, BOI’s interventions can generate more than 10 million jobs in the next four years, which is what is required to reduce the unemployment rate in the country to single digit,” Olagunju said. He said that in order to deepen the bank’s credit delivery process and financial inclusion initiatives, the bank would strengthen its collaboration with its foreign and domestic partners, including community-based organisations.
“The most striking achievement in its credit operations was the disbursement of loans that amounted to N5.7 billion to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), which represent a 205% increase over the average annual run rate of N1.7 billion to MSME in previous years,” he stated.
He stated that the bank has created almost 400,000 jobs with its disbursement of about N83.5 billion to over 776 enterprises between 2015 and now. Olagunju said that the bank was working closely with the African Development Bank (AfDB) by aligning its operations more with AfDB High Fives initiatives, which include Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, Industrialise Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
He said that some of BoI’s activities were already in line with AfDB’s High Fives like the bank’s United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Solar Power Programme, and Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund, among others.
He hinted that the development finance institution’s clustering strategy has enabled tailor-made products to be developed for various business segments, adding that other specific products of the bank are the N5 billion Cottage Agro Processing (CAP) Fund for agroallied based SMEs, which targets 1,000 cottage mills across the country with 20-30 mills per state.
He added that the bank effectively managed its risk exposure as nonperforming loan ratio improved from 6.92 per cent as at 2014 year end to 4.01 per cent as at end of 2015. “Bad loan recoveries of over N1 billion was achieved in the year as BOI secured a Credit Rating of AA+ from Fitch Rating,” he said.
The Acting BoI boss pledged “to deepen its impact in both core emerging sectors, drive service delivery excellence, support the development of SMEs in the country by leveraging strategic partnership, effectively managing enterprise risks as well as leveraging technology.”
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, commended the bank for its various developmental initiatives in support of the Federal Government’s policy thrusts, priorities and programmes. Enelamah was represented by the by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mallam Aminu Bisalla.
He also commended the bank for its increased collaboration with its domestic and foreign development partners in the public and private sectors, including state governments, community-based organisations and traditional institutions. “They are helping to deepen BOI’s credit delivery process and develop the micro small and medium enterprises sector,” Enelamah said.
At the post-AGM interactive session with the press, Olagunju gave assurance that the bank would continue to rev up its operations in support of the federal government’s policies and programmes as well as those of state governments that are BOI’s development partners.