The Bank of Industry (BOI) has disbursed loans worth up to N969.7 billion to over 3 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and 653 large enterprises in five years, creating over 6.98 million direct and indirect jobs through the process.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Head of Business Development in Bank of Industry, Mrs Aderonke Akinluyi, during a webinar by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) held today in Lagos.
Speaking on the theme: ‘’Funding Opportunities for Businesses in the Bank of Industry,’’, Akinluyi noted that that the funds were disbursed between 2015 and 2020. She also disclosed that the bank is currently partnering about 330 Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) to offer advisory and business support services aimed at improving intending MSMEs.
Speaking further, Akinluyi said: ‘’ Our business model reflects our goal to drive development through financial and advisory support to all customer levels, with dedicated teams for MSMEs, youth and women led enterprises.
“Our collaboration with the BDSPs ensures that the MSMEs are almost handheld in structuring, and preparing their business models and plans.
“The collaboration also provides other entrepreneurial training as required and are split across the regional, state and national categories,” she concluded.
On the other hand, the Divisional Head of SMEs in BOI, Mr Obaro Osah demystified some of the assumptions long held by intending applicants. He briefly gave a hint as to the timeline required to process the loan applications, he said: ” The loan application approval processing timeline for loans below N10 million is four weeks, loans between N10 and N100 million is six to eight weeks. Loans above N100 million to N500 million is eight to10 weeks.”
Naijabusiness.com.ng understands that the bank’s selected loan products include; agro mechanization, food and agro commodity processing and commercialization of the solar energy.
In the concluding remarks, the president of the LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje noted that limited access to funding has remained one of the biggest constraints facing businesses in Nigeria, especially MSMEs. Corroborating her claims, she cited a report by PriceWaterhouse Coopers that revealed that Nigerian SMEs had a funding gap of about N617 billion as of 2019. Commenting on the reasons for this gap, Mabogunje said: ‘’ Evidence has shown that majority of Nigerian MSMEs have not significantly benefited from available financing opportunities in the country. This can be attributed to lack of information (on the part of businesses) about the funding schemes offered by different institutions and the inability to meet the requirements for funding. Others include; contravening application guidelines, submission of wrong or outdated documents (such as tax certificate, financial reports, CAC registration certificate) and poor record keeping.
“Also, poor credit history such as failure to service previous facility prevents business owners from accessing another is also a factor.
“The combination of these factors account for the challenges of access to credit by the SMEs.“We are delighted to have the Bank of Industry present their funding propositions to our members at this event. The event is to facilitate conversations on the various funding opportunities within the purview of the BoI available to members of the Nigerian business community,” she concluded.