James Emejo in Abuja
The acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Waheed Olagunju has disclosed that a total sum of N83.5 billion was disbursed to 776 enterprises by the development finance institution in 2015.
He said the interventions further helped to create over 400,000 jobs for Nigerians.
Speaking in Abuja at the bank’s 56th annual general meeting (AGM), he said in spite of the challenging global economy and the 2015 election anxiety with its attendant implication for the business environment, the bank still recorded a profit after tax (PAT) of N44.7 billion, which represented a 761 percent increase from N5.2 billion in 2014.
The bank’s financial statement for the period also showed it grew operating income by 161 percent to N70.7 billion from N27.1 billion while net loans grew by N1.7 billion to N572 billion within the period in review.
He said the bank will seek to further deepen its developmental impact in both core emerging sectors, drive service delivery excellence, and support the development to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country by leveraging strategic partnership, effectively managing enterprise risks as well as leveraging technology.
Olagunju said also disclosed that a total sum of N95 billion had so far been approved for disbursement to over 400 enterprises as at June this year.
He added that bank was working assiduously to approving more loans in the second half of 2016 to meet institution’s disbursement target of N212 billion which could potentially creation up to 1 million jobs in addition to the 1.6 million projected under GEEP.
He said by a projection of 2.6 million jobs per annum BOI’s interventions could generate more than 10 million jobs over the next four years to reduce unemployment to single digit.
Meanwhile, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah commended the bank for posting a sustained “impressive financial performance” since its inception 15 years ago.
The minister said he was also excited that BoI had started implementing the N140 billion Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which is an aspect of the Federal Government’s N500 billion Social Intervention Package shortly after the 2016 budget was signed into law.
Under GEEP, the development finance bank was chosen by the federal government, given it antecedent, to identify and disburse soft loans to 1.6 million beneficiaries nationwide, mainly market women, youths, artisans and farmers.
He said BoI had brace up to the increasing responsibilities that were being assigned to fulfill the country’s economic development process, particularly in the implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) and the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP). Speaking at the AGM, the minister further extolled the efforts of management and staff for their commitment to taking the institution to greater heights, by embracing its core values and assiduously pursuing the bank’s vision, mission and mandate.
He, however, charged the bank to intensify efforts at mobilising suitable financial and non financial resources from within and outside the country for the transformation of Nigeria’s industrial sector in accordance with the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
Specifically, he challenges the bank on processing and adding value to the country’s vast agricultural, solid minerals and petroleum resources among other areas of resource endowments and comparative advantage.
He assured the bank that his ministry would continue to support its arduous task of transforming Nigeria’s industrial sector in the best interest of present and future generations.