N535bn Intervention Fund: BoI Loans Achieve 95% SME Success Rate

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Waheed Olagunju, has disclosed that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs) which were granted loans from the N535 billion intervention fund, have achieved 95 per cent success rates.

The intervention fund was provided to the BoI by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2010, for a period of six years.
Olagunju noted that the high success rate was due to the provision of an enabling environment, and a strong monitoring mechanism implemented by the bank to help the SMSEs, run successfully.

Speaking before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating activities of federally-owned Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) yesterday, Olagunju said the success rate was above that of the industry average which he put at 11 per cent.

The committee is headed by Hon. Emeka Anohu (Anambra PDP).
Olagunju harped on the need to provide a business environment attractive to foreign and local investors, as a way to pull the country out of the current economic recession.
“Government cannot do much to reflate the economy except private investors bring in money. They are the ones who can help the economy out of recession. Industrialisation is a multi-faceted process that cannot be done by government alone,” he said.

“When investors come in, how they are treated at our embassies in their country when seeking for visas, matters a lot. How the airport security treat them, how the taxi driver and hotel receptionists receive them in Nigeria, and lastly, how bureaucrats handle their files while pushing for investment opportunities, all determine whether they bring in money or not. So government has very little to do with regards to the attitude of individuals because no profession preaches corruption,” Olagunju added.
The committee was forced to adjourn as officials of the other DFIs came unprepared on grounds that they received the invitation late.

Anohu adjourned the hearing to January 17, 2017 to allow the agencies including the CBN, and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to submit the required documents and memoranda.

Earlier, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, while delivering the opening address, expressed concern at the perceived inefficiency of the DFIs, particularly toward SMSEs and agro-based businesses.
He, however, disclosed that the House had commenced the processes of repositioning the organisations to ensure they live up to the mandates for which they were established, to provide access to long term funds at low interest rates for entrepreneurs.

“There is no doubt that these institutions, if adequately harnessed are enough to propel this country into appreciable level of technological and economic advancement,” Dogara said.