BoI raises funding for Benue SMEs to N4bn

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Bank of Industry has unveiled plans to increase the base lending funds for the development of the mall Medium Enterprises in Benue State to N4bn.

The move is part of measures to ensure rapid economic transformation of Benue State.

The Acting Managing Director of BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, gave the hint on Tuesday  at a ceremony to mark the official opening of the BoI state office in Makurdi.

Initially, the state government and the BoI had launched a N2bn marching fund dedicated for the provision of concessional financial assistance to entrepreneurs operating in the state with both parties providing N1bn each.

But Olagunju said the governor had agreed to raise the fund to N4bn, while the development finance institution would scale up its own contribution from N1bn to N2bn.

He said, “Benue State governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, has left no one in doubt about his commitment to ensuring rapid economic transformation of the state christened, ‘Food basket of the nation’.

“The governor has expressed readiness to increase the state’s contribution to this fund between N3bn and N4bn. And we assure you that we will match this in equal sum.”

The BoI boss disclosed that as of February 2017, the bank  had approved loans of approximately N1.5bn to over 13 companies and micro enterprises spread across the state.

He said the decision to open new office in the state was to sustain the efforts of providing better service to the people of Benue, adding that it would improve the agency’s turnaround time of processing transactions.

He noted that the BoI processes were interlinked with its offices nationwide such that transactions were made easier and faster.

According to him, with the state’s rich endowment in mineral resources, all the building blocks for industrialisation are present and the BoI has come to help the state realise its potential.

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