- BoI Unveils Plans to Upscale Risk Assets for Small, Medium Firms
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has unveiled plans to leverage its existing partnership with commercial banks to build its risk assets from the current N600 billion to N1.2 trillion as part of efforts to improve its intervention to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan, who was represented by the bank’s Executive Director, SME, Waheed Olagunju, during the African SME expo 2017, added that the bank had budgeted about N310 billion for SME development with an average of N60 billion yearly, but have not been able to process loans worth N50 billion to SMEs on account of viability.
Meanwhile, the State Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, added that SMEs are recognisable world over as the engine of economic growth and development due to the critical role they play in job and wealth creation.
She said the theme of the expo tagged “Promoting SMEs for sustainable development economic growth” is not only apt, but timely as a result of the nation’s quest to ensure that people who are able and willing to work are actively engaged in one economic venture or the other.
She said the federal government is working hard to sustain its effort to put in place initiatives to promote the growth and development of SMEs which she said is the only way to create jobs and achieve economic growth as a country.
She said the expo will stimulate and attract foreign direct investments into the African business ecosystem which will no doubt promote investment and trade. “The future of SMEs in the continent is bright, but we must all do our part to make sure we achieve this,” she added.
Olagunju said the biggest problem facing SMEs is not financing, but being able to come up with a viable business model and bankable proposals, pointing out that statistics have shown that the country has never lacked quantum of money to support SMEs, rather SMEs have not been able to come up with bankable proposals.
In his words, “Some of the challenges hindering SMEs include lack of skill manpower, not able to meet the requirements of financial institutions, very vulnerable to shocks, but in spite of these challenges there some few successful SMEs in the country and this is want to showcase to Nigerians that it is possible to promote SMEs and run them viably and efficiently.
At the BOI, we lend to SMEs at single digit, because we are able to mobilize resources from national and sub national sources and the tenures are quite generous and because of our branch network, we are able to work closely with the SMEs.”
”The project that we support are those that have considerable developmental impact by way of job creation, projects supported by women and projects that are environmentally sustainable and those that also use a lot of local content by way of their raw materials.
“We are making a lot of progress in terms of supporting SMEs. We have come up with lots of innovative schemes to reach the entire country,” he said.He however stated that the bank’s Non Performing Loan ( NPL) ratio has consistently being about four per cent which is below the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN’s) threshold of five per cent which indicates that about 96 per cent of its loans at the bank is performing.
Fate of Bristow Pilots, Engineers To Be Decided on Thursday
Pilots and Engineers of Bristow To Know Their Fate Next Week
Bristow pilots and engineers whose appointments were terminated would have to wait till next week to know their fate as the negotiation between the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and the Federal Ministry Labour and Employment has been shifted to Thursday.
Capt. Yakubu Dukas, the National Vice President of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, confirmed this on Friday.
On Tuesday, Bristow Helicopter announced it would sack 100 pilots and engineers, hinging its decision on plans to restructure the company’s finances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But on Wednesday, NAAPE issued two weeks ultimatum to the company, demanding for reversal of such action at a time families are struggling with COVID-19 crisis.
On Friday, the Nigeria Labour Congress also issued two weeks warning to the companies, demanding the affected staff be recalled or they will have to deal with a nationwide action from NLC.
He said, “Both parties are to return to status quo. We are to report back next week Thursday to continue the negotiation.
“If both of you are returning to the negotiation table, it would be something that is favourable. The members will be happy to move out of the picketing and continue their work.
“The meeting went well. We met with the Ministry of Labour to reverse the status quo. Whoever they made redundant is null and void and they would revert to status quo.”
Buhari Signs Bill to Make Registration of SMEs Affordable and Easier
Buhari Signs New Bill to Make SMEs Registration Affordable
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed a new bill to make the registration of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) easier and affordable.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in a statement made available to media on Friday.
In the statement titled “After 30 years, President Buhari signs amended Companies and Allied Matters Bill,” the Senior Special Adviser said Buhari has signed the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 into law.
It read, “President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly.
“The President’s action on this important piece of legislation, therefore, repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, introducing after 30 years, several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.
“Such innovations include: filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria;
“Allowing corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and creating limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and business people alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way.”
“Innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing ‘authorised share capital’ with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
“Requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; and
“Enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.”
Nigeria Railway Corporation Realises N3.1bn in 2019
NRC Generates N3.09 Billion in 2019
The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has said it realised N3.09 billion from railway services in 2019.
In a statement issued by the corporation, N1.5 billion of the total amount was generated from the Abuja-Kaduna rail service, according Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director, NRC, who was quoted in the statement.
In the statement signed by Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, the Media Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, the Abuja-Kaduna rail line realised N130 million per month in the year under the reveiw.
“The Abuja-Kaduna railway generated over N130m monthly as revenue,” Okhiria stated.
Okhiria explained that, that particular rail line has been able to breakeven, adding that the revenue from Abuja-Kaduna rail line was used to service other railway stations in the Northern region.
Maiduguri station, which is presently not functioning was named as one of the stations financed with the revenue realised from Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
“N90m was spent on running cost and payment of staff at the Maiduguri station, which could not operate for now due to insecurity in the state.”
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