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BoI Grants N1.5bn Direct Funding to 28 Businesses in Nigeria

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  • BoI Grants N1.5bn Direct Funding to 28 Businesses in Nigeria

The Bank of Industry (BoI) has announced that over 28 other businesses in Nigeria had been granted N1.5billion from its own direct funds.

Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, disclosed this yesterday, while presenting N362million cheque to the first batch of the beneficiaries of the N2billion-micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), development fund in Benue State.

Benue State and the Development Finance Institution (DFI) had last year signed a pact on the N2billion matching fund to boost the entrepreneurial potentials of citizens in the state.

Under the financing model, both parties made commitment to contribute N1billion each for on lending to mainly businesses that have high employment generating potential and value addition to local raw materials.

Pitan stated that the 38 loans beneficiaries were those, who met the bank’s pre-disbursement conditions.

While noting that matching fund was capable of developing small and medium scale enterprises in the state, he urged other businesses in the state to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the scheme.

As part of the moves to ensure effective utilisation of the loans, the BoI boss added that a two-week entrepreneurship training would be organised to build the capacity of the beneficiaries.

“The partnership with the Benue State Government goes beyond providing loans. As part of the package, all beneficiaries will undergo two weeks entrepreneurship training to help their capacity to manage these businesses successfully,” he said.

He, however, warned the beneficiaries against deploying the fund to areas not envisaged by the scheme, stressing that “we like to remind them to take seriously their obligations to repay the loans so that others can benefit.

While also giving details on the involvement of the bank in other schemes aimed at developing economic activities in the state, the MD stated that the bank had granted loans of over N1.5 billion to businesses across sectors such as food processing, fruit juice processing, piggery, yam/cassava flour, rice processing, fashion designing, and quarries/solid minerals.

According to him, Under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which is principally created for framers, traders and artisans, the bank had also disbursed a total of N255million to 5100 beneficiaries across the state.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abono commended the bank for its efforts at developing small businesses in the state.

According to him, “I suggest the governor establish industrial parks, at least, one in each senatorial district where amenities will be provided and where other infrastructure will be provided. They will share the facilities.”

Charging the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunities, the deputy governor said the first set of recipient ‘would make us proud.’

He added: “It is unfortunate that in the past, the blood of business is not running in our veins. But the time is now for us to join the business world. All the business moguls around the world borrow money to do business. It is what you do with the money that determines the success or otherwise of a business.

“You should not shy away from borrowing. Never see it as part of the national cake. Nothing like bad loan again. If you take it and u don’t pay back, the long land of the law will catch up with you.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial market.

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High Pesticide is Reason Nigerian Beans Not Acceptable in Most Countries

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High Pesticide is the Reason Nigerian Beans Not Acceptable in Most Countries

High pesticide residue is the reason exporters of Nigerian cowpea (beans) can no longer access certain foreign markets, according to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).

Vincent Isegbe, the Director-General, NAQS, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during a strategic engagement with the President of Cowpea Association of Nigeria, Shittu Mohammed.

Isegbe advised stakeholders to work together to address the weak cowpea value chain in order to establish a continuous market for Nigerian beans.

In a statement issued by Gozie Nwodo, the Head, Media, Communications and Strategies, NAQS, Isegbe said “The pattern of boom and bust in cowpea export owes to the ingrained issue of high pesticide residue.

“The pesticides are largely introduced during the storage phase. The residue levels in the cowpea tend to rise above the maximum threshold set by certain Customs union and this makes the product unacceptable in crucial destinations.

Isegbe added, “We need to make a clean break from imprudent application of storage pesticides and consolidate a reputation for producing and delivering cowpea that satisfy relevant quality criteria.”

He said Nigeria is losing thousands of jobs and foreign exchange due to the suspension of cowpea or other agricultural commodities on account of intolerable quality defects.

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Wema Bank Announces Collateral Free Loans for SMEs

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Wema Bank to Provide Collateral Free Loans for Small Businesses

In a bid to ease COVID-19 burden on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Wema Bank has launched collateral-free loans for all qualified SMEs.

In a statement published by the bank last week, the lender said the loans will go a long way in assisting businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It explained that the move is in line with the bank’s mission to support the fight against ravaging COVID-19.

Further break down of the bank’s statement revealed that the SMEs loan products will provide N10 million to businesses in need of working capital without collateral or security for such financial support.

The credit facility, according to the bank, is available to business owners who have an establishment in trade/general commerce, Schools, Pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres.

Wema Bank added that in order to make the loan more accessible to businesses outside its customers, both new and existing customers can access the facility without previous banking history with Wema Bank. This, it said includes those doing business in their personal names.

The bank is also offering up to N5 million without collateral and up to 12 months repayment period to businesses that are doing trading or general commerce while school owners can get up to N10 million without collateral with also 12 months repayment period.

“Health sector businesses like pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres can also get up to N5million without collateral with up to 12 months repayment period to meet working capital needs. In an earlier communication, the bank had stressed how critical it is to support players in the health sector, especially with the realities of the time.

“For us, we will continue to put the health of Nigerians and the safety of our communities first,” said the Managing Director/CEO Wema Bank, Ademola Adebise.

It is our joy to see players in the health sector grow during this difficult time and we encourage them to take advantage of all our support programmes to keep their businesses afloat.”

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AXA Mansard Sells Entire Stake in AXA Mansard Pensions

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AXA Mansard Divests Interest From AXA Mansard Pensions

AXA Mansard Insurance on Friday announced it has divested from its subsidiary, AXA Mansard Pensions, after receiving Shareholder’s approval at the Company’s Extra Ordinary General Meeting on February 13th 2020.

In the statement signed by Mrs. Omowunmi Mabel Adewusi, the Company Secretary, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Company said it commenced the divestment process by appointing Messer Rand Merchant Bank as the Financial Advisers while Aluko & Oyebode acted as the Legal Adivsers on the deal.

The company entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Eustacia Limited to sell its entire 2,067,672,000 shares or 60 percent shareholding held by AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and another 1,378,448,000 shares or 40 percent shareholding held by minority Shareholder.

Speaking on the divestment, Mr. Kunle Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc said: “This transaction marks a new step in AXA´s broader strategy to focus on and grow our Life, Property & Casualty (P&C) and Health businesses across all its geographies. The AXA Group sees great potential in the Nigerian insurance market and believes AXA Mansard is ideally placed to capture these opportunities, thanks to its market leadership positions in Health Insurance, Property & Casualty and Life Insurance. We plan to capitalize on our successes to further build our capabilities and continue to deliver the best offers & services to our customers”.

Commenting on the transaction, Dapo Akisanya, CEO of AXA Mansard Pensions Limited said, “We are confident about Verod’s strong commitment to providing the Company with the requisite support to actualize our promise to our clients and stakeholders. As a West African investor with deep local knowledge and presence, we look forward to harnessing Verod’s unique, and world-class, attributes towards setting new standards in the industry.

Verod has the capacity, expertise, and network, to support the business to continue to expand and to provide innovative solutions for the benefit of our current and future clients

We strongly believe that this is the ideal time to enter the market and that AXA Mansard Pensions provides an excellent beachhead from which to establish a consolidated position and gain market share,” said Eric Idiahi, Partner at Verod.

“The National Pension Commission continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to raising standards within the industry and driving pension penetration rates in the short to medium term. We believe that sustaining AXA Mansard Pension’s industry-leading investment returns, excellent customer service, as well as, expanding distribution network and product offerings will facilitate the capture of the considerable growth potential within the Nigerian pensions industry, particularly following the opening of the transfer window.

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