Agro- processing accounts for 80% BoI Approved N903.4m Gombe SME


The Bank of Industry (BoI) has put the loan approval for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) in Gombe State at  N903.4million

The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the bank,  Rasheed Olaoluwa who disclosed this  during the commissioning of BOI’s new office in the state, stated that agro-processing accounted for 80 per cent of the loan portfolio.

Olaoluwa said that so far,  projects  being financed through loans from the bank had created 1, 900 direct and indirect jobs in Gombe state.

Giving update on the bank dealing in the state, he said,“Shortly after his assumption of office on May 2011, the Governor of Gombe State expressed the desire for partnership with BOI as a vehicle for accelerating the socio-economic development of Gombe State. In order to actualise the partnership, he made a pledge to contribute the sum of N500.00 million towards the establishment of a N1.0 billion Entrepreneurial Development Fund which was to be matched in like sum by BOI.

“The first tranche of the State’s contribution to the Matching Fund in the sum of N250.0 million was released in August 2011. This amount was equally matched by BOI thereby creating an initial pool of N500.0 million for on-lending to entrepreneurs in the State. By this gesture, Gombe State emerged as the first in the North East geopolitical Zone to collaborate with the Bank of Industry in entrepreneurial development under the States’ Matching Fund Scheme.

He added, “I am pleased to inform you that to date, a total sum of N903.4 million was approved for 171 projects. However, because the available matching fund was N500.0 million, only 55% of the approved loan amount could be funded under the Matching Fund Scheme. It is evident that there is an urgent need for the State Government to release its outstanding contribution of N250.0 million to the Matching Fund.

“Notwithstanding, BOI had disbursed N110.0 million to 16 enterprises in the State from its own resources. In terms of impact, 1,277 direct and 623 indirect jobs totalling 1900 were created. Gombe State is a predominantly agrarian state and this is evidenced by the fact that, 80 per cent of the approved loans was committed to agro-processing, while 20 per cent was for other sectors like beverages, construction products, plastic and chemical products, etc”

The BoI boss noted that given the fact that Gombe State  had been identified as a major hub for  commodity-based industrial clusters within the North East, the bank  would concentrate its lending efforts in major industrial clusters such as meat processing, metal fabrication rice milling and  groundnut oil production, among others.

According to him, in a bid to deepen its developmental impact in the country, BOI has identified 34 product clusters nationwide, adding that  Gombe, being a major hub for clusters in the North East of Nigeria, will be a beneficiary of the initiative.

Some of the identified clusters in the State, he further noted include: meat processing, metal fabrication rice milling, groundnut oil production, gum arabic ,dairy products ,cotton and its entire value chain ,gypsum ; limestone .

He stressed that BOI’s lending in Gombe State would be focused on projects in the clusters already mapped out.

“Going forward, I would like to see the promotion of more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Gombe State and likewise, see micro-enterprises financed under the first phase of the Matching Fund Scheme transform into SMEs. These SMEs will provide a market for the micro-enterprises and also process larger quantities of natural resources produced in the State,” he added.

Responding, Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo noted that the Entrepreneur Development Partnership Scheme had been of immense benefits not only  in promoting small business concerns, but also in its multiplier effects on the State.

He said while 171 cooperative societies had so far benefitted from the programme, it had led to the creation of 1,190 direct jobs, 562 indirect jobs.

On the payment of the remaining N250 matching fund, the governor who was represented by his deputy, David Albashi  said,”On our part, we will continue to honor agreements enshrined in the MoU. When government t’s finances improve, the second tranche of N250 million will be disbursed to the Bank of Industry. But before then, we appeal to the bank to start exploring the possibilities of revolving the proceeds from the loan repayments to clear all pending loan approvals.”

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