House C’tee Tasks BoI on Entrepreneurship Devt

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 Damilola Oyedele in Abuja 

The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on the activities of Development Finance Institutions (DFI) has urged the Bank of Industry (BoI) to make concerted efforts to boost entrepreneurship,  which would have a positive impact on national economy.

This is as the bank stated that it is not opposed to the proposed establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Commitee, Hon. Emeka Anohu, at the continuation of hearing into the activities of the DFIs, noted that the organisations were established to stimulate the economy, and it is therefore necessary to ascertain to what extent they have executed this mandate.

He lamented that some of the DFIs set unnecessary hurdles before applicants for entrepreneurship loans, a development which has stalled the growth of the sector.

Anohu directed all the DFIs at the hearing to submit details of beneficiaries of their intervention facilities.

The acting Managing Director (MD), Mr. Waheed Olagunju in his submission, said the bank has about 97 percent of its loans performing.

He added that the proposed bank would be a boost to the sector as DFIs would be able to access funds for their various intervention projects.

Olagunju told the committee that the role of DFIs cannot be taken over by commercial banks as DFIs work to minimise risks for entrepreneurs and investors.

“It is BoI’s mandate to support projects in high priority areas by paying lots of attention to game changing projects. We have been able to invest about N1 trillion since 2001 in addition to managing the N500b Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) set up in 2009 on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Also, from the N4b approved for Micro Finance banks, we have been able to disburse N3.1b till date,” he said.

Olagunju revealed that the bank is about to conclude work on a $100m solar power project with facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“A pilot project would commence in the six geo-political zones before going national with six export-based companies already shortlisted for part of the loan facility,” he added. The hearing continues Wednesday.