The Bank of Industry (BOI) has restated its commitment to the development of the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises sub-sector by setting aside the sum of N10bn to finance that segment of the Nigerian economy this year.
The N10bn approved for SME funding in the 2016 financial is N4.4bn higher than the N5.6bn, which the bank disbursed to the sector in the 2015 fiscal period.
It stated that while there was an increase in loan disbursement to the SMEs from N1.8bn in 2014 to N5.6bn in 2015, the portfolio of non-performing loans dropped from 18 per cent to about 4.01 per cent within the same period.
The Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, stated these in Abuja during an induction ceremony for 186 external auditors appointed by the bank for SMEs.
He said, “Previously, the annual disbursement over a 13-year period (2001 to 2014) was N1.8bn. We did N5.6bn last year, which represents about 208 per cent increase above what has been done annually.
“We are starting this year hoping that we can double the figure. Our ability to do so depends on you substantially.”
Olaoluwa said the bank decided to approve the appointment of the external auditors in order to assist SMEs that had benefitted from its activities to prepare financial statements that would provide a true and fair view of their respective business activities.
He said over the years, the bank had discovered that some of the SMEs, while applying for loans from the BoI, were presenting financial statements that had been manipulated to make them to appear profitable.