EXECUTIVE Director, large scale enterprises in the Bank of Industry, Mr. Mohammed Alkali has said that funding Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs which will give more opportunities and make business activities easy for large scale enterprises is top priority of the bank.
Mr. Alkali who spoke to our correspondent on the activities of the bank in supporting large scale entrepreneurs explained that the current challenges faced by the bank are that of learning which stakeholders and country at large need strong collaboration to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation drive.
“The new love of BoI in funding SMEs will give the large-scale enterprises more opportunities; if my colleagues in the SME direct credit, customers will have access to surplus raw materials locally instead of spending foreign exchange on importation”.
He ED who is in charge of ‘large scale enterprise’ said that the department focus on large business enterprises in line with the National Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP “In the document, there are four key groupings including agro processing, solid minerals, oil and gas and line manufacturers, within that context, we try to see how we can add value to make impact in Nigeria in terms of Job creation, use of raw materials, import substitution forex generation among others”
He said that the bank has lay much emphasis in the area of agriculture due to the critical nature of the sector in our economy “In the agricultural sector, out of the 170 million Nigerians, over 70 per cent live in rural areas with heavy dependents on agriculture as a means of livelihood, so, in terms of our value chain impact, we were told that agro space has a tendency of improving on many people’s lives in terms of Job creation and poverty reduction
“looking at the solid minerals sector where there are several opportunities, but still, we are very low in that area, that is one area BoI is looking at critically, so the activities in the sector are enhanced and right impact are made in terms of building capacity and creating Jobs for Nigerians”
Mr. Alkali stressed that the bank is willing to offer support to Nigerian entrepreneurs in the oil sector especially in the area of local content, “if there are Nigerians that can provide services being provided by foreigners, we support them so  that Nigerians can build capacity required to compete, for instance, in terms of logistics and support services, I don’t see any reason a company that is operating in Nigeria will want to use a foreign affiliate in providing the service because we have adequate capacity in Nigeria for them”
He said that the bank has offered a lot support to companies in terms of adding values “If you look at our portfolio, you can see that we are putting effort in areas where we are going to make the highest impact in terms of adding value, so when you look at LADOL, one of the projects we financed, you will see how we have been trying to support this company in the provision of integrated services for oil companies to save foreign exchange for Nigeria and create Jobs in the country”
According to him “It is a large activities that LADOL is creating, within that large facility, we have other auxiliary activities like hotel, so, what we do is to look at the total picture, sometimes we don’t look at particular applicant, we look at what other areas we can add value, so it is just across board that BoI is addressing large scale business”.

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