The Bank of Industry (BoI) has called on the Niger State government to release the outstanding N200 million towards assisting Micro, Small Medium Enterprise (MSMEs), as part of strategies to fast-track development of the industrial sector in the state.
The initial N600 million contributed by the state and the BOI has been exhausted hence the need for the state government to release the outstanding N200 million of its contribution, the Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, said.
Olaoluwa also explained the bank’s efforts to encourage states to invest in industrial development shortly after the inaugurating the Niger State branch of the BoI in Minna.
He said: “The N600 million contributed by Niger State government and BoI is exhausted and needs to be replenished to facilitate the attainment of the developmental objectives of the government, particularly job and wealth creation.
“You will recall that BoI and Niger State government executed a memorandum of understanding in June 2009 to set up an MSME Development Fund in the sum of N1 billion, dedicated to the provision of financial assistance for MSMEs in Niger State”.
Niger state is the first out of the 19 Northern states to partner with the BoI under our states’ Matching Fund Programme (MFP), adding that, “Niger state government has so far released the sun of N300 million as part of its contribution which was matched in equal amount by the BoI”.
In implementing the MFP, the Managing Director said that BoI received 263 loan applications amounting to N2.5 billion through the Niger State Ministry of Investments, Commerce and Co-operatives, out of which 166 loans totaling N497 million were approved.
Speaking during the commissioning, the state Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello said that the government has collaborated with BoI in providing matching funds for the improvement of Small and Medium Scale Enterprise in; polythene production, rice milling and yoghurt production.