- BoI Set to Empower 110,000 SMEs
The Bank of Industry (BoI) announced on Wednesday that it would empower 110,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in the North East with N2.4 billion as part of its tactics to reduce poverty in the region.
The six North-East states to benefit from the empowerment programme are; Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba.
Chairman of the Bank, Aliyu Dikko, made this announcement in Abuja at a BoI forum which centered on discussions on investment in communities affected by Boko Haram. He added that the effect of the crisis in the region has made it imperative for the bank to come up with a North East rehabilitation fund; adding that fund would support development in the region following the aftermath of the attacks.
Dikko said that he hoped the intervention fund would help transform the region as it would support businesses with zero capital; adding that it was created under the framework of the TraderMoni initiative.
He also said that the human, social and economic losses to the insurgency and the investments need for recovery, peace and building of the North-East was overwhelming.
According to Dikko, in addition to significant inflation, loss of job prospects as well as the overall psychological impact of the crisis, the region had suffered a loss of about N1.66 trillion through the destruction of education and health facilities, markets and farms plus infrastructure.
He said, “Given our mandate to stimulate economic growth and sustainable industrial development, Bank of Industry has embarked on an economic revival plan for the North-East region. Our objective is to stem the spate of poverty and reduce the reliance of the indigenes on humanitarian aid.
“In the last four years, the bank has provided financial support amounting to N678bn to over two million enterprises across the country, creating over five million jobs.
“A major part of these jobs was created using the TraderMoni model which is a Federal Government scheme targeted at micro-businesses particularly petty traders.”
In her remarks, the Executive Director, Micro Enterprises, BoI, Toyin Adeniji, stated that through the North-East fund, the bank had committed N2.4bn worth of intervention fund to support businesses in the region with easily accessible, collateral-free, zero-interest loans.
The ExecutiveDirector, Micro Enterprises, Toyin Adeniji, in her speech noted that the bank that infused intervention funds valued at N2.4 billion with easily accessible, collateral free and zero-interest loans, to help businesses in the North-East.