The Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Olukayode Pitan, on Tuesday said that the lender had opened discussions with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria and the Nigeria Export and Import Bank to de-risk its loan portfolios to small-scale businesses.
Pitan stated that the BoI was working closely with the agencies to embark on SMEs’ rating and how to ensure easier credit lending to those that met risk-acceptance criteria for loan access.
Pitan stated these when he met officials of the Secretariat of the Presidential Council on the Ease of Doing Business in Abuja.
He said that efforts were ongoing to ensure easier access to credits by small scale business owners, while considering the credit behaviour of small and medium enterprises.
He stated, “We are working with SMEDAN and NEXIM together to have a credit registry data. Once we have that kind of data, by the end of the year, it will help us to monitor the credit behaviour of people and improve access to credit by them.
“People say accessing credit from the Bank of Industry is difficult because we are asking of bank guarantees. Yes, we do ask for bank guarantees, but it is not in all our credits that we ask for such guarantees.”
He added, “There are some facilities that all you require are two guarantors, such as the programme we have for young graduates.
“What is important is that we want Nigerians to know that borrowing from the Bank of Industry is not to access your own share of the national cake.”
Earlier in her remarks, the Coordinator, PEBEC Secretariat, Jumoke Oduwole, called on the BoI to make it easy for small business owners to access credit.
She said, the council was working with many agencies of government to make it easier for people to do business in Nigeria.
Oduwole stated that the ease by which small-scale businesses access credit from banks would play a vital role in the country’s ease of doing business ranking by the World Bank.