Friday, 2 March 2018

BoI earmarks N50bn for food processing firms

The Bank of Industry has announced that it has set aside about N50bn for genuine food processing companies in the country to save the huge foreign exchange being spent yearly on food imports.

The Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan, stated this when the House Committee on Commerce, Industry Trade Investment came on a visit as part of their oversight function to some of the industrial firms supported by the BoI in Lagos.

The Chairman of the committee, Abubakar Moriki, stated that the BoI had a crucial role to play in revamping moribund companies hit by lack of finance.

“The committee is here in Lagos to oversee the activities and operations of the BoI. We are here to interface with them and to know their challenges. We have been briefed about the bank’s historical evolution and its equity structure, balance sheet over the years and indeed, I will say at this juncture that as a typical development finance institution, the bank is doing very well.”

Pitan, who was represented the Executive Director, SME, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, said more than 96 per cent of the bank’s risk assets were performing, maintaining that the bank closed the financial year of 2016 with a Non Performing Loan ratio of 3.7 per cent.

He said thus far, with the support of the Federal Government and the National Assembly, the bank was able to guarantee a line of credit worth over $500m from the Africa Development Bank that required a sovereign guarantee.

“This is a line of credit approved by the AfDB, which we have to repay and this is why whenever we grant loans, they will be loans of very high probability of repayment. We want to appeal to our current and prospective customers to please see things from our own point of view. We are always ready to partner serious minded entrepreneurs that adhere to global best practices,” he said.
The Executive Director, Printserve Limited, Wemimo Olawuni, said that the BoI had been supportive in terms of investment financing, saying that its loans at 10 per cent had put her company on a good pedestal to compete globally.

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