A total of $1bn (N305bn) has been raised by the Bank of Industry (BoI) to finance the industrial sector of the economy in the 2018 fiscal period.
The amount is expected to be deployed in key sectors of the economy such as Information Technology, manufacturing, and Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs), among others.
The Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, confirmed the amount during an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on the sidelines of the bank’s Annual General Meeting.
He said the bank had identified funding gaps in the industrial sector, which he estimated at about N700bn, adding that this was why it decided to raise the sum of $500m to finance the sector.
Pitan stated that the decision of the BoI to raise $500m was very successful as the issuance programme was oversubscribed to the tune of $250m.
He said rather than raise $500m to finance the industrial sector, the bank ended up getting a total of $750m.
This, he noted, would be added to the $200m Local Content Development Fund being managed by the bank to finance the real sector of the economy.
Pitan stated, “The outlook for 2018 is very good. Most of 2017 was used to raise more money. We launched out to raise $500m facilities for the BoI, we have just completed that and it’s oversubscribed.
“Rather than $500m, we were able to raise $750m, and so, you will see that we will be very active this year. My target is that we should bridge the funding gap of about N700bn that we have identified. We have raised over $1bn and I think this year will be good for us.”
He described the outlook for 2018 as very positive as the bank was ready to give out more loans to boost the country’s industrial sector.
“We give out loans that are secured by bank guarantees. In the SMEs space, their repayment has been good and we are working very closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance to ensure that we put something in place that can be like a guarantee so that we can reduce the risks in that space and make more banks to lend,” he added.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Industry, Husaini Abubakar, had last month called on the BoI to increase funding to the industrial sector to achieve the Federal Government’s objective of rapidly developing the economy.