Abuja, March 12, 2017(TNE): The Bank of Industry (BoI) and Kebbi Government have set up a N2 billion loan scheme to support entrepreneurship development in the state, the Acting Managing Director of BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, has said.
Olagunju announced this in a statement following his visit to Kebbi Governor, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu.
Olagunju said that each party would contribute N1 billion to the fund, for use in the development of small and medium businesses.
According to him, the agricultural sub-sector will be given priority.
Olagunju said that the state would enjoy enormous benefits from the BoI partnership, as the bank has been able to provide attractive financial services, lending at single digit interest rate in the benefitting states.
“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.
”We want 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.
“We believe that there is a lot more in Kebbi State and in other areas in which you have comparative advantage.
“A lot of fishing takes place here, onions are grown; so we want to see how we can come in and work with you.
“In other states where we have subsisting relationships, we have been able to lend at single digits,” Olagunju said.
He said that the bank was interested in sponsoring entrepreneurs who were into value addition, adding that Kebbi state was rich in agricultural resources that needed to be processed.
According to him, Bagudu has laid a solid foundation for permanent production in the first one-and-a- half years of his administration which has started resulting in good harvest.
“Unless these products are processed and value added to them, there could be a lot of post-harvest losses.
“That is why we are being proactive to ensure that we ensure to assist entrepreneurs who can help process these products from agricultural sector.
Olagunju said that the bank would soon be establishing its office in Kebbi State.
In his remarks, Bagudu said that activities of the bank had been quite noticeable in the last 10 years, adding that critical decisions were required more than ever before to turn around the economic fortunes of the country.
“About N3 trillion is required annually to develop agriculture in the country and farmers in Kebbi state alone need N200 billion,” he added. (TNE)