The Bank of Industry (BoI) has unveiled a social intervention fund in support of artisans, farmers, market women to start up businesses.
The fund is intended to help business men and women get access to loans to start and expand their businesses at no interest rate.
The acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, who was represented by the Group Head of Treasury, Taiye Emagha, at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, BoI special day, said the scheme which has started across the 36 states of the federation, will go a long way to bring many Nigerians into the inclusive financial space.
“To access this loan, associations need to get registered with the BoI where they nominate credible beneficiaries to represent them,” he added.
“At BoI we are focused on creating job opportunities and value addition. We will continue to develop innovative products and services to meet the growing demand of Nigerians with the aim of reducing unemployment and sustaining economic development.
“The Bank of Industry was established with a primary function of providing financial assistance for the establishment of large, medium and small projects as well as the expansion, diversification and modernisation of existing enterprises; and rehabilitation of existing ones.
BoI, has succeeded in the reduction of youth unemployment through the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme and several other matching and managed funds.”
The president LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, said BOI’s special day was specially packaged to meet the aspirations and interests of investors, government agencies like BoI, foreign business partners and government delegates.
“I therefore present to you this veritable platform to expose your brand to participants at this fair. The chamber is drawing attention to the need to reposition and diversify the Nigerian economy.
In addition, the Chamber wishes to address the issue of value addition in Nigeria’s non-oil sector with a view to achieving industrialization, which will enable the nation to earn more foreign exchange from commodities and processing in Nigeria.
We are moving away from over-dependence on oil to sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, renewable energy,” she added.
Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service, (“Moody’s”) has assigned Aa1.ng/NG-1 national scale local and foreign currency issuer ratings to the Bank of Industry (BoI).
Last year Moody’s assigned BoI Ba3, which was in consonance with Nigeria’s sovereign rating. These latest ratings are underpinned by a standalone credit assessment of b2 and one notch of government support uplift, which results in a global scale long-term issuer rating of B1.
The Aa1.ng rating is the second highest of three national scale ratings (NSR) categories corresponding to BOI’s global scale ratings (GSR).
According to Moody’s, BOI’s national scale ratings capture the bank’s robust capital buffers, with an equity to assets ratio of 30% as of Dec 2015; stable liability structure made up of long-term funding at concessional rates; and tangible improvements to governance and risk positioning in recent years.
It added that these strengths are balanced against its projection that asset quality will be increasingly pressured given the loan growth strategy that the bank is pursuing, particularly in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) segment, which may expose the bank to riskier assets.
While expressing his pleasure with Moody’s current ratings, BoI’s Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Waheed Olagunju, stated that they confirmed the bank’s similar ratings of AA+ by Fitch Ratings and A+ by Agusto & Co.