BoI to finance MSMEs in Kebbi with N2bn

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Bank of Industry and Kebbi State Government have agreed to set up a N2bn loan scheme to support entrepreneurship development in the state.

The Acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, stated this during a meeting with the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu.

He said the fund, which would be contributed by each party in equal sum of N1bn each, would be dedicated to assisting the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the state.

The BoI boss also maintained that the agricultural sector would be given priority in the disbursement of the fund.

Olagunju assured the governor that the state would enjoy enormous benefits from partnering with the bank as it had been able to provide attractive financial services, lending at single digit interest rate in the benefitting states.

He said, “As a Federal Government-owned agency that has the mandate to ensure balanced development across the country. We have come to you to see how we can fit into your development agenda, and to see how we can play an active part because you have come up with a lot of initiatives, essentially the rice project which other states are now trying to emulate.

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“We believe that there is a lot more in Kebbi and in other areas in which you have comparative advantage. A lot of fishing takes place here and onions are grown here; so, we want to see how we can come in and work with you. In other states where we have subsisting relationship, we have been able to lend at single digit.”

Olagunju explained that the bank was interested in sponsoring entrepreneurs involved in value addition, describing Kebbi State as very rich in agricultural resources that needed to be processed.

“Unless these products are processed and value added to them, there could be a lot of post-harvest loss. That is why we are being proactive to ensure that we assist entrepreneurs who can help process these products from the agricultural sector,” he added.

The governor said the visit of the management team of the BoI was timely in view of the current economic recession bedevilling the country.

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Bagudu, who noted that activities of the BoI had been quite noticeable in the last 10 years, said critical decisions were required now to turn around the economic fortunes of the country.

According to the governor, about N3tn is required annually to develop agriculture in the country, and farmers in Kebbi State alone will need N200bn.

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