James Emejo in Abuja
The Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Katsina State government have jointly set up a N2 billion- enterprise development fund to boost the entrepreneurial prospects of indigenes in the state.
The inauguration of the matching-fund followed the commissioning of the bank’s Katsina office, by the State Governor, Aminu Masari.
Speaking during the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between both parties, BoI’s acting Managing Director, Mr. Waheed Olagunju said the bank’s total loan exposure to industrialists in the state had reached N11.4 billion.
He said under the terms of the partnership, the state government would provide N1 billion, which would be matched in like sum by the bank for onward lending to Micro Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) with bankable business plans.
He said:”The Bank of Industry decided to open its Katsina State Office so as to sustain the institution’s continued efforts at serving Katsina State better and vastly improve on the turnaround time (TAT) for processing transactions.”
According to him:”Katsina State is very central to BOI’s strategy of ensuring that our development finance services are brought closer to the people of the State especially in our bid to vastly improve our service delivery efficiency, while also reaching out to all parts of the entire North West region.”
Olagunju further explained that the financing model of fund-matching with states had become imperative if the bank must meet its financial obligations to industrialists across the country.
He pledged the bank’s commitment to support the newly unveiled economic and investment blueprint of the state, noting that it has so far provided loans in excess of N11.4 billion to over 40 micro, small, medium and large enterprises across the state with over 30,000 direct and indirect jobs created.
According to the acting BoI boss, as part of its bid to deepen its credit delivery process, the bank had also introduced product programmes that are targeted at funding projects in the 40 identified business clusters in the country.
As one of the major beneficiaries of the programmes, he added that the bank’s state office had identified 10 clusters in Katsina State that would be accorded priority financial support.
These include cotton ginning, animal feeds/production, food processing, meat processing, solar (off grid), quarries diary, ceramics and tiles and technical and vocational skills.