From Kunle Aderinokun in Abuja, 06.17.2010
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has approved loans of more than N16 billion to various cooperative groups across the country to assist small and medium entrepreneurs. The bank has also trained 10,000 small and medium entrepreneurs within the last three years on how to establish and run bankable small businesses.
Managing Director of the bank, Ms Evelyn Oputu, made these known yesterday in Abuja at an Entrepreneurial Development Workshop and Boot Camp.She explained: “The products of the boot camp series formed the nucleus of BOI’s cooperative lending programme under, which the bank lends to specially formed cooperatives that comprise mainly women and youths under a collective guarantee arrangement.”The workshop, christened ‘Secret to Business Success’, 15th in the series, was organised by the BOI and the United States Embassy in Nigeria.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, declared the workshop open, stressing that the seminar was a support for the on-going government and private sector efforts towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He also said that the workshop would also support the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) through the supportive financing that would be embraced by a wide spectrum such as the FCT/Nigerian SMEs on the global value-chain through linkages with multinational economic cooperation.
“It is important to note that the initiative to stimulate vibrant micro, small and medium scale enterprises is being spearheaded by the FCT MDGs. In this regard, the FCT MDG is training 930 women and youths in different skills across the six area councils.“In addition, 60 community farms as part of its community empowerment agricultural initiative have been opened. A micro finance window has thus been opened for small and medium entrepreneurs in all the area councils to access credit facilities. All these strategies are geared towards reducing poverty and developing small scale industries,” Mohammed added.