Entrepreneurship Development Partnership with the Bank of Industry, BoI, offers solution to current security challenges in the North-East, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has said.
He said this yesterday at the commissioning of the bank’s North-East zonal office in Gombe.
The state government in 2011 signed a N1billion entrepreneurship development partnership with BoI in which both parties contributed N250 million each to create a pool of N500 million, which was distributed as loans to prospective entrepreneurs in the state.
He said benefits obtained through the programme include “171 cooperative societies benefiting from the programme, creation of 1,190 direct jobs, creation of 562 indirect jobs and establishment of 171 enterprises in 24 product lines in agriculture and minerals sectors.
“If we can generate nearly 2,000 jobs with just N250 million, then certainly by the time we invest N500 million in the scheme, we are sure of creating 4,000 to 5,000 jobs.
“This is not to mention other accompanying benefits of the scheme in terms of creating more avenues for internally generated revenues and poverty reduction.
“For a state like ours, Entrepreneurship Development Partnership with the Bank of Industry offers a lasting solution to our current security challenges,” the governor said.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Charles Iliya, vowed to continue to honour agreements in the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the bank.
Earlier, the managing director/CEO of the bank, Rasheed Olaoluwa called on Gombe State government to urgently release its outstanding counterpart contribution of N250 million to the matching fund to facilitate more jobs creation in the state, through funding of loan under the matching fund scheme.
He said the sum of N903.4 million was approved as loan for 171 projects, but only 55 percent of the approved loan amount could be funded under the Matching Fund Scheme, because available matching fund was N500 million.
He said: “Notwithstanding, BOI has disbursed N110 million to 16 enterprises in the state from its own resources” all of which had culminated in the creation of “1,277 direct and 623 indirect jobs, totalling 1,900 jobs created.”
He said BOI in its quest to deepen its developmental impact in the country had adopted the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Commodities-based industrialisation strategy as its small and medium scale development model.
“In this regard, BoI has identified 34 product clusters nationwide; Gombe being a major hub for clusters in the North-East of Nigeria will be a beneficiary of the initiative,” he said.
He identified the clusters as meat processing, metal fabrication, rice milling, groundnut oil production, gum Arabic, dairy products, cotton and its entire value chain, gypsum, and limestone.