Between January and September this year, a total of N171bn was disbursed by the Bank of Industry as loans to various sectors of the economy.
The amount represents an increase of N90bn over the N81bn, which the bank gave out as loans under its intervention programmes to various sectors of the economy in a similar period of last year.
The Executive Director, Corporate Services, BoI, Mr Jonathan Tobin, confirmed the loan disbursement on Thursday during a colloquium held on the sidelines of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s workshop on monetary policy implementation amidst global economic protectionism.
The theme of the colloquium was ‘Incentive’s lending to boost employment-elastic sectors of the economy’.
Tobin said out of the N171bn loan that was disbursed by the bank during the nine-month period, the Small and Medium Enterprises sector got N23bn.
This, according to him, represents an increase of N15bn over the N8bn, which the small business operators received in the whole of 2017.
He said the management of the bank understood the importance of funding to the growth of small businesses, adding that this was why it recently got a $750m facility from 17 financial institutions to fund the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises sector of the economy.
Tobin put the funding gap in the industrial sector at about N700bn, noting that the bank was making efforts to further boost its funding to various sectors of the economy.
He said the bank had created intervention funds for companies operating in the creative industry, manufacturing and gender-based businesses so as to reduce the unemployment rate in the country and create wealth for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Technical, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, Mr Babajide Arowosafe, said the organisation would continue to de-risk the agriculture value chain so that banks could lend to the sector with confidence.
He stated that NIRSAL would also provide technical assistance that would help banks to lend sustainable to agriculture.
This, he noted, would enable producers to borrow and use loans more effectively to increase output of better quality agricultural products.