Bank of Industry (BoI), said yesterday that it would henceforth lend more to Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs].
The bank’s assistant general manager, operations, Mr Joseph Babatunde, who dropped the hint said the bank’s new lending strategy would enable the SMEs to play a significant role in the nation’s economic development.
He said that the SMEs’ operators, as the engine of economic development, should be committed to accessing development funds. The AGM said that contrary to other opinions, loans had helped in improving and sustaining investment goals.
Babatunde said that the bank’s profit grew by 2,322 per cent to N2.578 billion in 2010, up from N105.36 million in 2001. He said that in spite of the challenging banking environment, the bank had recorded some achievements in the pursuit of its mandate.
According to him, the bank has evolved into a strong, dynamic and flexible development finance institution, responding to the needs of Nigerian entrepreneurs. “The bank’s average operational and financial performance confirms that enterprise profitability and development could be complementary,” he said.
Babatunde said that the bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth one billion naira with the Oyo State government for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises.
“Our target is to provide financial assistance for the establishment of large, medium and small projects as well as expansion and diversification of existing enterprises,” he added.
He said that the bank was ready to partner more state governments in financing SMEs to boost wealth and creation of jobs. “SMEs will remain our focus; our objective is to promote competitiveness in production that will guarantee sustainable inclusive development,” the AGM said.
He said that access to capital could no longer be an overwhelming limitation to genuine and enterprising Nigerians seeking to establish small businesses.
Filed Under: Business News